Factory Worker Claims Bus Was Speeding

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BUKIT MERTAJAM, Oct 25 – The factory bus which had stopped on the left side of the road at Km147 northbound of the North-South Expressway near the Juru toll plaza, and subsequently involved in a accident here, was said to have been driven fast before the engine over-heated.

Passenger Rafizah, 22, who is an Indonesian national, said most of the factory workers who were in the bus lived in the dormitory provided by their employer at Simpang Ampat, Sungai Bakap, near here, and were on their way to the Sony factory in Prai. “I was awake (at the time), and during the trip, the bus was being driven fast … some passengers saw smoke coming out of the engine, and we informed the bus driver, however, he kept going on.

“The smoke grew thicker, and there was a fire coming out of the engine, so I screamed at the driver and he stopped at the left side of the road before our bus was hit from the back,” she told Bernamawhen met at the Seberang Jaya Hospital (HSJ) here, today. She said the situation went out of control and their bus was pushed to the middle of the road and at the time, several passengers were thrown out of the bus due to the impact.

Rafizah, who has worked in Malaysia for a year, said many passengers on the bus screamed and cried in fear. “I was sitting in the middle of the bus and was thrown all the way to the front but I was fortunate not to have been thrown out … otherwise I would also have been dead,” said the worker who suffered injuries to her face and body. Meanwhile, Wirda, 36, said her younger sister, Rosa, 19, who had been working in Penang, was a victim on board the bus and was seriously injured in the head, back and legs.

The Indonesian who has lived in Penang for the past six years and married a local, said she rushed to Seberang Jaya Hospital as soon as she found out about the accident. However, as of 11.30am, she had been unable to meet Rosa or find out about her condition as she was still in the emergency ward.

Meanwhile, Nor Shakirah Ishak, a victim on board the other factory bus, said she was asleep when she suddenly heard a loud bang, and the bus driver told them all to alight from the back door. The employee of Plexus Manufacturing Sdn Bhd in Bayan Lepas here said in the 6am incident, her bus which was heading from Parit Buntar to their work place suddenly hit another bus carrying Sony employees in front of them.

“Our bus was not going so fast, however, the bus had broken down and stopped on the side of the road … maybe the bus in front did not have its lights on, so our bus driver was not aware of it being there,” said the 40-year-old who sustained light injuries to her face and legs. She lamented the death of her close friend, Noriah Kasa, 40, who perished in the incident. — Bernama

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