GENTING HIGHLANDS: Police have called off search and rescue efforts to locate more victims of the bus crash that claimed the lives of 37 passengers.
The Star Online reported Bentong OCPD Supt Mohd Mansor Mohd Norr as saying that the police have ended their search and were now conducting operations to retrieve valuables and documents to identify the dead.
“Our personnel only found two severed legs which will be sent to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
“We are confident that there are no more victims in the bus or in the surrounding area,” he told pressmen at the scene on Thursday morning.
Mohd Mansor said of the 37 dead only 15 have been identified so far.
“Those with relatives who have gone by bus to Genting Highlands and have gone missing should talk to the police immediately.
“We could use any help, even description of their attire could assist in the identification process,” he said adding that the dead were all brought to HKL.
He said 34 post mortems have already been performed while five bodies have been claimed.
Mohd Mansor said the majority of the cause of deaths was multiple injuries and severe internal organ damage.
“The tragedy is by far the worst in this area so far. If the bus had not got snagged on the trees, it could have easily plunged an additional 100ft down the slope,” he said adding that the case was being investigated under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 for reckless driving.
Mohd Mansor said police would take statements from the survivors once they have recovered from the ordeal in order to get a clearer picture of the incident.
“Once our personnel have finished retrieving valuables and documents, forensic units and Puspakom officials will be sent down to conduct an on-site investigation.
“When they have finished we will start work on hoisting up the bus to be brought to the Bentong police station,” he said.
Kins of the dead converge at HKL
Meanwhile, emotional pain and sadness were palpable at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) mortuary here as relatives of those killed in yesterday’s horrific bus crash in Genting Highlands gathered to identify and collect the remains of the victims.
Some family members broke down and declined to talk to reporters.
According to an HKL spokesman, as at 11 am, the post-mortem had been conducted on 30 bodies and 17 had been identified.
The identification was ongoing as family members went about the process of claiming the remains of their loved ones.
Reporters, who had been waiting at the hospital from as early as 7am, were prohibited from entering the mortuary compound.
Meanwhile, the Tzu Chi Foundation, a humanitarian non-governmental organisation, has stationed representatives at the hospital to assist family members of the victims.
Thirty-seven people, including the bus driver, were killed and 16 others injured in the accident at Km3.5 Jalan Genting Highlands at 2.22 pm yesterday.
The bus, carrying 52 passengers, among them several foreigners, was descending from Genting Highlands and heading towards the federal capital when it plunged into a 60-metre ravine.
The atmosphere at the mortuary became more intense as the day progressed as more and more relatives arrived to help with the identification process.
Some of the family members were seen waiting anxiously at the tent set up by the Tzu Chi Foundation.
Several hearses were seen entering the mortuary compound this morning.
Woman learns of hubby’s death through undertakers
A woman only learnt that her husband had died in the bus accident through the funeral parlour.
Lim Yee Ha, 64, said this was because the bus company had sent the body of her husband, Choo Peng Kwan, 67, from the accident site to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL).
According to Lim, she did not know that her husband had gone to Genting Highlands because Choo did not tell her where he was going when he left the house early yesterday morning.
“He left the house at Taman OUG, Jalan Klang Lama, here at about 9am and had not behaved in any unusual manner earlier,” she said when approached at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
“I only came to know about my husband’s death through the funeral parlour that had sent his body from the accident site to Kuala Lumpur Hospital at about midnight last night,” she said sadly.
Meanwhile, Roslan Jantan, 54, had previously advised his elder brother Rasib, 61, a security officer at a hotel in Genting Highlands, who was among those killed in the bus accident, not to take such a bus to commute to his work place.
This was because the condition of the buses was believed to be old and lacked proper maintenance, claimed Roslan who gave his opinion based on his experience working as a bus driver with another company.
Search this morning
Earlier this morning, the police and fire and rescue personnel resumed the search for more possible victims of yesterday’s bus accident.
Bentong police deputy chief DSP Wan Azhar Ruddin Wan Ismail said the search was resumed at 9.45 am at the scene at Km3.5 of Jalan Genting Highlands after several people reported being unable to contact relatives suspected to have been on the ill-fated bus that plunged into a 60-metre ravine at 2.22 pm.
“The search has been resumed for more possible victims besides looking for valuables of the victims which can be used to identify them.
“It will continue until we are satisfied and before we move on to determine how to haul up the wreckage of the bus,” he told reporters at the scene.
A check by Bernama found officers and staff of the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros), Public Works Department (JKR) and Road Safety Department conducting investigation at the crash site.
Officers and men of the 4th and 7th battalions of the General Operations Force from Cheras and Semenyih had also been deployed there.
The authorities had also diverted traffic descending Genting Highlands and heading towards Kuala Lumpur or Pahang as the stretch at Km3.5 of Jalan Genting Highlands has been closed.
Bags and clothing of the bus passengers were seen scattered by the roadside. Tyre marks as a result of hard braking could be seen for up to 100 metres at the stretch.
The marks were also visible on a 0.6-metre concrete barrier that collapsed on impact.
The crash site is adjacent to a safety buffer zone provided for motorists whose vehicles lose brake pressure.