Saturday, March 03, 2007

MORE PICS – BUS SLAMMED INTO TRAILER Km89.7 N-S Expressway; 2 Killed (impaled by Steel Rods) & 4 Seriously Injured; BUS 1 of 5 on Way to Langkawi

ABOVE: Right on target, when following too close, driver said after the accident; "There is nothing I can do" BELOW: Another top view; the construction steel rods impaled and pierced through the two killed sitting in the front right
GURUN, Fri.: Bus passenger Mohd Kamal Idris's decision to move to the front of the vehicle to chat with the driver proved to be fatal. The 51-year-old Kampung Kuala Sentul headman and Umno branch chairman from Maran, Pahang, was killed instantly when the bus slammed into the back of a trailer carrying a huge cache of steel rods early today. Mohd Kamil, who was seated on the steps near the driver, was pierced by the rods which crashed through the bus windscreen.

ABOVE: The broken windscreen of the bus becomes the "door" into the bus through which the dead (BELOW) wear taken out

Also killed was Maran Umno division vice chairman Datuk Saiful Bahri Mokhtar, 45, who was seated at the front seat on the left. He was also pierced by the rods. Saiful is the nephew of Pahang deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Tan Amiruddin Ishak. The victims had to be extricated from the wreckage. A huge crane was later used to pull both vehicles apart. At least two other passengers were seriously injured while 15 others were given outpatient treatment. The accident occurred at about 4.40am along Km89.7 of the North-South Expressway where the bus carrying 39 passengers was on its way to Kuala Perlis. It was part of a convoy of five chartered buses from Maran carrying 200 officials and members of the Maran Umno division to Langkawi for a three-day course over the weekend organised by Malaysian Islamiah Dakwah Foundation.

ABOVE: The inside wreckage mess and BELOW: Another injured being carried away

Also trapped in the wreckage were division office clerk Mohd Azhar Abdul Jabbar, 32, and executive secretary Nor Asmidatul Aida Nordin, 28, who were seated beside and behind Saiful respectively. Norasmidatul Aida was the first to be pulled out from the wreckage at 6.50am while Mohd Kamal's mangled body was pulled out at 8.45am. The victims' remains were flown back to Kuantan aboard an Air Force aircraft. Nor Asmidatul Aida and Mohd Azhar were warded at the Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital in Sungai Petani together with division secretary Nor Azhar Latif, 45, and Nor Azman Ismail, 40.

When met at the scene, bus driver Mahadi Akin, 44, who escaped unhurt, said Mohd Kamal was seated at the back of the bus but moved to the front after they passed through the Juru toll plaza. "He said he was bored and came to sit on the floor next to me and we started chatting." The driver said they were travelling on the left lane behind the trailer which suddenly applied the emergency brakes. "I tried to swerve to the right lane but there were a car and a bus. There was nothing I could do," he said. Mahadi who has been driving for 15 years, was later detained by police for investigation.

ABOVE: The UMNO Chief who was killed was taken by RMAF hercules C130 and taken back to Kuantan and then to hometown and after the prayers was buried (BELOW) at about 9 pm the same night

Passenger Mahadi Daud, 44, said Mohd Kamal could not sleep. "We were seated right at the back of the bus. We were chatting but I fell asleep later,” Mahadi said. "I didn’t know that he went to the front. After the collision, I assumed he had gotten out until we did a head count and somebody told me what happened. If only he had stayed put, he would've been alive today. When met at the hospital, Mohd Azhar, who broke both his legs, said he managed to offer some comfort to Saiful while they were waiting to be rescued. "He was impaled by steel rods and was bleeding. He couldn't speak but I reminded him gently to recite the Kalimah Syahadah. "I was also in pain and I didn't realise that he was dead until somebody told me.”
= = =
March 02, 2007 16:59 PM
Two Umno Maran Leaders Killed In Road Crash
SUNGAI PETANI, March 2 (Bernama) -- Maran Umno vice chief Datuk Saiful Bahari Mokhtar and Sentul village head Mohd Kamal Idris were killed and 18 others injured, including four seriously, in a crash involving a bus and a trailer at Kilometre 89.7 of the North-South Highway (north bound) early Friday. They were in a convoy of five buses, carrying more than 200 Umno leaders from the Maran division, to Langkawi to attend a four-day course which was supposed to begin today.

Kedah Traffic Chief Supt Mah Khye Beng said the accident happened at 4.40am when one of the five buses crashed into the trailer which was laden with iron pilings????. He said Saiful Bahari and Mohd Kamal, both???? 50 years old, died at the scene. The seriously injured were Maran Umno secretary Nor Azhar Latif, 45; the division's Wanita executive secretary Nor Asnidatul Aida Nordin, 31; Nor Azhar Abdul Jabar, 32, and Nor Azman Ismail, 40. The driver of the affected bus, in his 30s and who was not injured in the crash, had been detained for investigation, he added.

Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and Perlis Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim were among those who visited the victims at the Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital here today. The bodies of Saiful Bahari and Mohd Kamal are expected to be flown back to Maran by a Nuri helicopter from the Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Butterworth at 2.30pm today. Meanwhile, Maran Umno Puteri Chief Datuk Shahaniza Shamsuddin said she was supposed to be on the ill-fated bus, but had hopped onto another bus when the convoy stopped at the rest area at Tapah, Perak about 1.15am. Grateful that she escaped the ordeal, Shahaniza was however saddened by the tragedy that befell Saiful Bahari and Mohd Kamal.

Following the incident, Sahaniza said the course in Langkawi had been cancelled. A passenger in the bus which crashed, Norehan Abdul Raof, 42, a staff at the Maran Umno's office, said she was jolted from her sleep when the bus over-turned after crashing into the trailer. With injuries on her face and leg, Norehan managed to get to Saiful Bahari, who was seated infront, and got him to recite some prayers before he succumbed to his injuries. The convoy left Maran about 8pm yesterday and was scheduled to be in Kuala Perlis at 10am today for the welcoming ceremony to be attended by Shahidan, which the programme, according to Shahidan's Press Secretary, Syed Omar Syed Mohamad, had been cancelled. The dead victims and the injured had been taken to the Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital here.


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