Indonesia bus crash death toll up to at least 28

Indonesia bus crash death toll up to at least 28

South Sumatra bus crash
This handout picture taken and released by Indonesia's national search and rescue agency (BASARNAS) on Dec 24, 2019 shows rescue personnel retrieving a victim after a bus careered into a 150-metre deep ravine and ended up in a river killing dozens, near Perahu Dipo village in Pagar Alam, South Sumatra. (Photo: AFP/BASARNAS/Handout)  

JAKARTA: The number of people killed in a fatal bus crash in Indonesia has risen to 28 including eight children, police said Wednesday (Dec 25) as a rescue team continued to search a river.

The bus careered into a 150-metre (500-foot) ravine in South Sumatra province just before midnight (1600 GMT) on Monday and ended up in a river, according to police.

Local police chief Dolly Gumara said on Wednesday another body was found late on Tuesday, adding up the death toll to 28 from earlier 27. Eight of the killed passengers were children, said Gumara.

South Sumatra bus crash
This handout picture taken and released by Indonesia's national search and rescue agency (BASARNAS) on Dec 24, 2019 shows rescue personnel retrieving a victim after a bus careered into a 150-metre deep ravine and ended up in a river killing dozens, near Perahu Dipo village in Pagar Alam, South Sumatra. (Photo: AFP/BASARNAS/Handout)

"We have identified 27 of the killed victims and only one body is still unidentified as of today. The victim is a woman," Gumara told AFP on Wednesday.

A local rescue team said it has evacuated at least 13 survivors and the search is still ongoing to find more bodies over fear that some might have been carried away in the river.

According to a passenger manifest, the regional bus left Bengkulu province for Pagar Alam with 27 on board but some survivors told police there were around 50 people inside when the accident happened.

South Sumatra bus crash (1)
This handout picture taken and released by Indonesia's national search and rescue agency (BASARNAS) on Dec 24, 2019 shows rescue personnel retrieving a victim after a bus careered into a 150-metre deep ravine and ended up in a river killing dozens, near Perahu Dipo village in Pagar Alam, South Sumatra. (Photo: AFP/BASARNAS/Handout)

"There is a possibility that there will be more victims that is why we still continue the search," said wednesday local rescue team spokesman Taufan, who goes only by one name like many Indonesians.

Traffic accidents are common in the Southeast Asian archipelago, where vehicles are often old and poorly maintained and road rules regularly flouted.

In September, at least 21 people died when a bus plunged into a ravine in West Java's Sukabumi region.

Several months earlier, 12 people were killed and dozens more injured when a passenger tried to wrest control of a bus steering wheel following an argument with the driver on the same toll road in West Java as Thursday's accident. The bus smashed into two cars, causing a truck to roll.

Source: AFP/hs

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