Bus falls into ravine in Malaysia, killing 37
At least 37 people were killed after a tourist bus plunged into a deep ravine near a Malaysian hilltop resort on Wednesday.
Sixteen survived the accident, one of the worst in a decade in the country, and have been sent to nearby hospitals. Some were in critical condition.
Most of those aboard the bus were Malaysians, but at least three were foreigners, including a Chinese national, police said. The nationalities of the killed remained unknown.
The bus was traveling downhill from the Genting Highlands resort in the afternoon when it went off the cliff and plunged some 60 meters into the ravine, according to authorities.
The cause of the accident is yet to be determined. A rescue worker said the driver, who was among the killed, apparently lost control of the vehicle on a downhill bend.
Due to the rugged terrain and thick vegetation at the crash site, rescuers had to install a makeshift pulley system to transfer bodies and injured victims.
Police dogs had also been used to search for survivors before the search and rescue work ended late evening.
The bus was a regular shuttle bus that ferries visitors between Kuala Lumpur and the hilltop resort, which is usually capped by thick clouds or fog.
Liow Tion Lai, a local parliament member, has requested the authorities to speed up the investigation and present a clear report to prevent such accidents from repeating.
Malaysian Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the bus was probably overloaded.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has expressed via his microblog his condolences to the victims' families.
Genting Highlands, located some 50 km from the capital, is a popular tourist attraction for its cool air and the country's only casino. Yet the road to the resort consists of many steep slopes and sharp turns.
In 2012, two tourists from India died and 20 other passengers were injured when a tour bus overturned near Genting Highlands. In 2010, seven people were killed and another 20 injured when a tourist bus skidded and overturned near the resort.
In late 2010, a bus accident near Cameron Highlands, another Malaysian hilltop resort, claimed 27 lives, many of them Thai tourists.
KUALA LUMPUR (Xinhua)