10.10.10: Delima Express Bus Tragedy at KM223 North-South Expressway

October 12, 2010 at 1:34 AM

10.10.10 started with happiness and ended with tragedy.

I woke up today feeling like crap.

Most believes that the date 10.10.10 is a good number to start a happy family – as in marriage. Many decided to have their wedding ceremony on this date. One of the example is the wedding of Malaysia’s uber mega super hot doctor-turned-astronaut Dato Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor and Dr. Harlina. My mom was so excited to watch the wedding on tv. I unfortunately found the reception to be dull, slow and boring…sorry!

Her wedding dress was uh .. during the ‘akad’.. my mom says she doesn’t like it much. She said the designer (I forgot who, well known one right?) needs to look at more wedding dresses.

Credit to limauais.com
Damn he’s taken.

However, the day of happiness turned into a tragedy that Malaysia will never forget.

At 6.40 pm yesterday, Malaysia was shocked to hear the news that there has been yet ANOTHER fatal bus accident. I heard it during primetime news and they mentioned that almost around 10 were killed. I didn’t care so much because I didn’t think it would be so horrific, and I thought it’s just another bus tragedy… I thought probably the bus crashed. Remember Sani Express? Last year? It was so horrific, and it happened quite near me.. at the highway that I take all the time to go to Jusco’s area or to go to KL. I didn’t think anything could top that. Boy was I so wrong….

It was not until I heard about the PILE UP CRASH that shocked the crap out of me. Apparently the bus crashed to the opposite lane and crashed into 5 vehicles… FIVE. So me, being the usual freak that I am, became obsessed since last night and this story disturbed the hell out of me. Plus I was already sad and depressed to begin with as I found out that someone I used to care no longer gives a flying fuck about me. Also, last night, I was up all night reading devastating accident stories & looking at their gruesome photos.

Here are the stories from NST Online and The Star:

REMBAU: Twelve people, including three women, were killed and more than 50 others injured in an accident involving two buses,three cars and a van at Km223 of the North-South Expressway, near the Pedas toll plaza, yesterday.A police spokesman said the accident occurred at 6.50pm when a Delima Express bus, heading from Johor Baru to Kuala Lumpur, was believed to have skidded before crashing into the highway guardrail.The bus ended up in the southbound lane where it crashed into a Toyota Hiace van

A Welfare Department bus, a Perodua Myvi, a Honda City and a Honda Accord then crashed into the express bus.

The spokesman said the Welfare Department bus was carrying 40 retired members of the armed forces and their wives.

The bus driver, however, managed to steer his vehicle to avoid a more serious impact.
“The bodies of the victims were all over the expressway and police had difficulty determining whether they were from the Delima Express bus or the other vehicles. ”

The accident victims were sent to the Malacca, Alor Gajah, Jasin, Tuanku Jaafar and Tampin hospitals.

One of those affected, Md Razel Sarmin, 38, the driver of the Honda City, said he was on the fast lane of the expressway heading to Pontian in Johor from Kuala Lumpur when he saw the Delima Express bus hurtling into his path from the opposite side of the expressway.

“The bus crashed into the Toyota Hiace van which spinned several times. I managed to avoid the bus, but my car grazed the back of the van.

“My seven family members and I in the car then stopped at the side of the expressway. We saw bodies all over the road.

“I saw the driver of the van hanging from the driver’s side window and the Delima Express bus was blocking all three lanes of the highway heading to Alor Gajah.”

Another witness, Abdul Hamid Hasan, 55, an ex-serviceman from Taman Rambai Jaya in Malacca, who was on the Welfare Department bus and sitting in a front row seat, said he was rudely awakened when the bus driver applied the emergency brakes.

“I opened my eyes and was shocked to see an express bus blocking our path and our bus driver trying to avoid it.

“Our bus slightly hit the back of the express bus.”

Three of the ex-servicemen’s wives , including one who is pregnant, were injured and they were rushed to hospital.

Three fire engines from the Rembau, Tampin and Alor Gajah stations were sent to the scene.

At least eight ambulances took the injured to hospital.

The accident caused massive traffic jams on both sides of the expressway.

CRASH VICTIMS’ NAMES:

The police have released the names 12 people who died in a crash involving two buses, a van and three cars at Km223 of the North-South Expressway near Simpang Ampat toll plaza yesterday.

The police confirmed that nine locals and three Myanmar nationals were killed in the accident.

They were express bus driver R.Ramachandra, 52, from Kampung Tengah, Klebang Besar and express bus passengers, Muhammad Farizuddin Talib, 19, (Balai Panjang, Malim); Azizi Ajis, 19, (Kampung Gapis, Nyalas); Norazmi Abdul Karim, 24, (Kampung Pondok Kempas, Selandar); Sharene Sofia Fadzry Tan, 18, (Semabok Perdana); Nur Shafika Baba, 29, (Pokok Mangga here), and Eng Sok Kuan, 52, (Kuala Lumpur).

Three male Myanmar nationals, who were also express bus passengers, were Pau Khan Tual, 21; Kam Khaw Tual, 28; and Cin Thawa Tuang (age unknown).

Van driver Goo Chuan Heng, 34, from Taman Maju, Batu Pahat and motorist Pang Shi Moei, 57, (Taman Segar, Segamat).

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SEREMBAN: Twelve people were killed when a north-bound express bus crashed through the guardrail and ploughed into five vehicles heading in the opposition direction at KM223.2 of the North South Expressway near Simpang Ampat here.

Forty-five others were also injured in the 7.45pm accident, which occured near the Negri Sembilan-Malacca border here yesterday.

Witnesses said the express bus crashed into the rear of a car before the driver lost control of his vehicle and rammed through the guardrail and onto the path of an oncoming bus, two cars and a motorcycle.

The impact caused the express bus to flip onto its side. The bus driver and motorcyclist were among the casualties. The oncoming bus belonged to the Welfare Department.

Apparently, out of the 45 injured, four have been rushed to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital for treatment, 22 were sent to a hospital in Seremban and 12 to another hospital in Malacca.

The express bus had left Malacca about 45 minutes before the accident and was on its way to Kuala Lumpur.

The accident caused a traffic jam stretching for more than 25km along the expressway.

Of the 12 who died, eight were believed to be passengers from the express bus.

One of them was decapitated.

Two others were from a MyVi, which was crushed by the bus, and another from a Honda Accord.

PLUS officials had to divert motorists at the Pedas/Linggi toll plaza as the south bound lanes were impassable to traffic.

A Plus traffic control centre spokesman said the accident occurred at about 6km from the Simpang Ampat toll near Alor Gajah, Malacca.

“The middle and left lanes for the south-bound traffic were blocked by the vehicles involved in the accident while the right lane for the north-bound traffic was closed to facilitate emergency works at the scene,” he added.

Sources said that the department’s bus was carrying delegates for a gathering of former servicemen, which was attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil earlier in the day.

“None of them in this bus was injured,” said Malaysia Ex-Servicemen’s Asso­ciation Datuk Muhammad Abdul Ghani.

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Seriously, I’m speechless.

I’ve been feeling so sad, and disturbed for the whole day. Today was really a gloomy Monday. The accident left a massive, and I really mean MASSIVE traffic jam. People were stuck for hours it’s ridiculous. They were stuck for 4 hours, with no cars allowed to move, then after that a very slow jam up till morning. The bus completely blocked one side, and the other side was blocked so victims can be transferred to hospital.

The basic: A bus lost control, literally ‘flew’ to the other side and wrecks another bus, a van, 2 cars and a motorcycle.

Lives lost up till 12 am, Oct 12th: 15 (3 died at hospital)

The wreckage site was just…wow and I seriously mean wow. Like a fucking nightmare. Bodies were all over the bloodied road…people thrown out of vehicles.. or trapped inside.. the condition of the bodies were just GRUESOME. I always say I have high tolerance for gore.. but the difference between movie gore and this kind of gore is that this is REAL. They were real people that were alive a few hours earlier. Now their mangled bodies just lay on the road. By mangled I mean some were just beyond recognition. Body parts scattered around. One victim’s head was decapitated. Some heads flattened. Oh my God.

MasyaAllah.

Bus tragedy is not a new thing in Malaysia. There were many other horrific bus accidents in the past but why does this still happen? You know, Malaysian highway is one of the best highways n the world. But God knows how many souls have been taken away due to carelessness. In a tragedy like this, who should be blamed?

The bus wasn’t speeding.

Contrary to the reports by the media, outside witness, especially by one forum member that I read who narrowly escaped death by a mere few seconds (however the car behind him wasn’t lucky) said that the bus wasn’t speeding. There were a lot of cars on the road, almost bumper to bumper.. he saw the bus wobbled seconds before the crash and his decision to step on the gas saved him from being part of the worst bus tragedies in Malaysia’s history so far. The bus didn’t ‘fly’ to the other side either. So should we blame the driver?

It’s not fair to make speculations. Maybe it was the driver’s fault, maybe it wasn’t.

But seriously, don’t you agree that public transport drivers are so reckless? They love to speed and they don’t give a fuck about other ‘small’ cars on the road. I can’t describe how many times I nearly hit a bus that speeds, or cabs that don’t stop, and they never give signals be it on the highway, or the city. They scare the shit out of me. My foot will always be on the brake pedal so I can brake in case they suddenly try to overtake without signaling, and while I’m near. I drive a small car, I’m always scared those big giants on the road like bus and lorries couldn’t see me.

I seriously think big vehicles shouldn’t mix with small ones.. they should have their own separate roads far away. When a case like this happens, God it’s so heartbreaking! Some victims were so young. I was so sad to see Azizi Ajis’ facebook, and he was this cute boy (though quite rude mouth, typical kids) and his last update was 3 days before the accident.. not knowing that he would be on that ill-fated bus and die tragically. One was supposed to have a convocation this Friday. One girl was on the bus for the first time and also would be her last time. I couldn’t stand seeing their families mourning, crying at the morgue.

Other victims? Majority were lucky to still be alive, some escaped injuries and some with minor ones but the critical ones? I can’t imagine how traumatic they are, and how they’re feeling now. 2 were supposed to get married end of this year but now have to postpone.. but some….gosh… some lost their limbs! I can’t imagine just a few moments ago I have all of God’s creation then within seconds I lost something of me.. arms or hands or legs.. and my life would change forever.

The worst thing? Being at the wrong place, at the wrong time.

It’s terrifying to see that the bus could land at the opposite side, and the drivers of the van, the cars and a motor were there at the wrong moment. Like that picture above, you could see that the red Myvi car has the brake lights on, which mean the victim’s foot was still on the brake pedal. The car just didn’t stop  fast enough. It all happened within seconds..another bus managed to avoid bigger tragedy but is still affected.. the van..oh gosh, seeing the driver just lying lifeless at the van’s window…the bus also landed on someone’s head, cutting it off.. same goes for the motorcyclist. His head got cut off, and you could see his head in a helmet still.

I also nearly had accidents last month, but I’ll write that in a new post later. Right now I’m way too depressed and too upset to continue more.

Scene photos credit to Mohd Safuan bin Salahudin. I hope it’s okay for me to share some here. I didn’t put a lot of photos here because I can’t stand seeing the victims anymore..it’s enough that I’ve been reading and looking at photos on this all day long. If you have a strong stomach, you can click the links below for more scene pictures and a video. I don’t know how long they’ll be available though. Before I end this, I wanna say, please drive safely. Think of the loved ones… You won’t only endanger yourself, but others too. After my own experience, I am now no longer a speed junkie. I also will not take bus ever again.

Beside this, there’s another tragedy involving bus in China and Bangladesh yesterday.

My deepest heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. May the departed souls rest in peace.

inna lillah wa inna ‘ilayhi raji’un

..dan daripada-Nya kita datang dan kepada-Nya kita kembali. Salam takziah buat keluarga mangsa. Di harap tabah dengan ujian-Nya ini.

WARNING: Click the links below at your own risk! Photos & video contains GRUESOME images of the victims at the scene including limbs and mangled bodies. Do NOT click if you have a weak stomach!!

More photos by Mohd Safuan bin Salahudin re-posted
Video of the accident site & victims