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27 dead, dozens injured after Indonesia bus carrying students plunges into ravine

27 dead, dozens injured after Indonesia bus carrying students plunges into ravine

This picture taken on Mar 10, 2021 shows rescuers evacuating victims of a bus accident that plunged into a ravine in Wado subdistrict, in Sumedang, West Java, which claimed 27 lives. (Photo: AFP/BAGUS AHMAD)

JAKARTA: A tourist bus plunged into a ravine on Indonesia's main island of Java after its brakes apparently malfunctioned, killing at least 27 people and injuring 39 others, police and rescuers said on Thursday (Mar 11).

The bus was carrying a group of Islamic junior high school students, teachers and parents from the West Java province town of Subang when the accident happened late Wednesday on a winding road, said local police chief Eko Prasetyo Robbyanto.

He said the bus was on its way back to Subang from a pilgrimage site in the province's Tasikmalaya district when it plunged into the 20m-deep ravine after the driver lost control of the vehicle in an area with a number of sharp declines in Sumedang district.

Rescuers search for survivors and victims inside the wreckage of a bus that plunged into a ravine in Sumedang West Java, Indonesia, Mar 11, 2021. (Photo: BASARNAS via AP) Indonesia Bus Accident

Police were still investigating the cause of the accident, but survivors told authorities that the vehicle's brakes apparently malfunctioned, Robbyanto said.

Rescuers worked through the night using cranes to pluck injured survivors from the wreckage after the fatal crash.

Bandung search and rescue agency chief Deden Ridwansah said the 27 bodies and 39 injured people were taken to a hospital and a nearby health clinic, including a body of a young boy who was pinned under the overturned bus and pulled from the wreckage on Thursday morning.

Thirteen of the injured were treated for serious injuries, Ridwansah said. The driver and teenage passengers were among those killed.

Rescuers search for survivors and victims inside the wreckage of a bus that plunged into a ravine in Sumedang, West Java, Indonesia, Mar 11, 2021. (Photo: BASARNAS via AP) Indonesia Bus Accident

"The fatalities are a mix of children and adults," Bandung rescue agency official Mamang Fatmono told AFP.

Television video showed police and rescuers from the National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) evacuating injured victims and carrying the dead to ambulances. Grieving relatives waited for information about their loved ones at Sumedang's general hospital, while others tried to identify the bodies laid at a morgue.

This picture taken on Mar 10, 2021 shows rescuers evacuating victims of a bus accident that plunged into a ravine in Wado subdistrict, in Sumedang, West Java, which claimed 27 lives. (Photo: AFP/BAGUS AHMAD)

Road accidents are common in Indonesia because of poor safety standards and infrastructure.

In December 2019, 35 people were killed when a passenger bus fell into an 80m-deep ravine and crashed into a fast-flowing river on Sumatra island. In early 2018, 27 people killed after a packed tourist bus plunged from a hill in West Java’s hilly area.

Source: Agencies/dv

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