[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Tour bus crash kills 28 in Malaysia
Tourist bus on way back from hill resort tips over on highway, killing 25 Thai visitors, as well as three Malaysians.
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2010 15:05 GMT
Malaysia has the highest rate of traffic accident fatalities in Southeast Asia [Reuters]

A double-decker bus carrying Thai tourists overturned on a Malaysian highway on Monday, killing 28 people on their way back from a hill resort in the country's worst road accident in years.

The tourists were heading to Kuala Lumpur after a weekend trip to the popular Cameron Highlands in central Malaysia when their bus spun out of control and crashed into a protective barrier, a district police official said.

The bus then flipped over and landed beside a rocky slope, he said.

Photographs of the site showed the wrecked bus in a shallow ditch, with its tyres and passengers' belongings scattered around. Bodies covered with black sheets were placed beside the road.

The accident may have been caused by speeding or brake failure, the official said.

Fatal crash

Rescuers recovered 22 bodies, and another six people died after being taken to a hospital, he said. About a dozen other passengers were injured.

The bus was reportedly operated by San Holiday Express, a Malaysian-based tour company.

Its managing director, Sor Eng Hock, told Bernama, Malaysia's national news agency, he was "very shocked [and] sad," adding that the company had never been involved in a major accident.

Malaysian highways have a speed limit of 110km per hour, but speeding is common and many drivers often do not abide by traffic laws.

Many bus accidents have been blamed on companies that hire poorly trained or unlicensed drivers, some of whom reportedly use drugs to keep them awake.

Those killed in Monday's crash included three Malaysians - the bus driver, his assistant and a tour guide - the police official said. The rest were Thai.

Malaysia's worst previous bus crash was in 2007, when an express bus hit some boulders at a highway, killing 22.

Malaysia has the highest rate of road traffic fatalities in Southeast Asia, with 23.6 deaths per 100 thousand people.   

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.