JAKARTA, March 11 (CNA) - 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.
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. "The fatalities are a mix of children and adults," Bandung rescue agency official Mamang Fatmono told AFP.
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.