Genting Bus Crash: Worst Tragedy In 2013
By S. Chandravathani & Yasmin Ahmad Zukiman
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 (Bernama) -- The bus crash in Genting Highlands, Pahang last August was the worst road crash recorded in the country over the past 17 years.
The tragedy claimed 37 lives.
The crash occurred when the Kuala Lumpur-bound stage bus which ferried 53 people, skidded and plunged 60 metres into a ravine at the 3.5km Jalan Genting Highlands.
The mishap occurred at 2.45pm on Aug 21.
A study by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety (Miros) found several factors which caused the crash. One of them was that the bus which was going downhill was being driven at break-neck speed, exceeding 50kmph.
The other factor was its dysfunctional brake system.
The rescue operation which followed, involving more than 150 firemen and personnel from various agencies, was hailed as the most organised and efficient.
Fire and Rescue Department Director-General Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim said 16 injured victims were rescued from the wreckage within six hours of the rescue operation.
On May 28, a boat, packed with more than 100 people returning to celebrate the annual Gawai Dayak festival, capsized in Sungai Rejang, near Jeram Giam in in Sarawak, after hitting a log and developing engine problem.
Three passengers died, while the others managed to swim to safety or were rescued by villagers.
Another mishap reported this year happened in Penang on June 6, in which four people were killed when a section of the Second Penang bridge, which was under construction collapsed onto a Perodua Kelisa car they were travelling in.
In Kudat, two people were killed and 16 others injured when a MASWings Twin Otter plane crashed while attempting to land at Kudat Airport last Oct 10.
The aircraft overshot the airport runway and crashed into a house in Kampung Sinsan, killing the co-pilot and a passenger.
On Oct 23, the serenity in the Cameron Highlands was interrupted following a landslide and mud flood in the Bertam Valley. Three people were killed, one injured and another reported missing in the incident which also caused damage to 80 houses and about 100 vehicles.
The incident occurred after Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), which operates the Sultan Abu Bakar hydroelectric dam power plant di Ringlet, released water from the dam to avoid it from bursting, following continuous rain since Oct 22.
Cameron Highlands police chief DSP Mohd Zahari Wan Busu said TNB released water from the first dam at midnight, and then at 1am and latter at 2.45am, causing water from Sungai Bertam to spill its banks and cause flash flood.
Subsequently, TNB clarified that the water was released, according to procedures.
A week later, on Oct 30, three people returning from a haj pilgrimage were killed and three others were injured when the van they were travelling in, crashed into a lorry at the East Coast Expressway.
Early this month, more than 40,000 residents in Pahang had to be evacuated to relief centres due to flood. Three people were killed in the floods, said to have been caused by "unusual rainfall".
Even Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, who hails from Kemaman, described the flood which battered Kuantan, as unusual.
The flood caused 1,072 TNB sub-stations to be submerged, resulting in TNB to stop electricity supply to 62,907 consumers.
TNB was also forced to cease operations of more than 382 sub-stations in Pahang and Terengganu because of the flood situation in the two states, affecting 19,356 consumers.
In one aspect, the flood united Malaysians, with the people of various races, religions and political beliefs coming together to donate cash and the necessities to flood victims.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak also announced a special aid of RM500 to the flood victims.