A bus carrying about 50 passengers plunged into a ravine, killing at least 25 people and injuring 14 others in Indonesia's province of South Sumatra, on Monday. Search and rescue operations are underway and the cause of the tragedy is being investigated, the local police spokesperson informed.
How the incident unfolded?
The incident took place near South Sumatran town of Pagar Alam. A regional bus carrying 27 passengers left Bengkulu province, situated to the west of South Sumatra, for Pagar Alam. According to some passengers, there were 50 onboard, when the incident happened. "Some passengers were probably added on the way," local police spokesman Dolly Gumara told AFP.
The bus reportedly crashed into a concrete road barrier, before plunging into the ravine and ended up in a river.
Rescue and search operations
Search and rescue teams were deployed to look for the victims. Those injured were taken to the hospital, Gumara informed. Head of the local search and rescue team Berty Kowas, told Metro TV, "Currently the evacuation is ongoing and some divers are searching (for victims) around the bus".
Since the accident took place at a remote and steep area near the town of Pagar Alam, rescue and relief operations were hampered. The local police spokesperson informed that few people were still trapped inside the bus, while some were feared to be missing in the river.
Road accidents: not uncommon in Indonesia
Shoddy condition of vehicles compounded by the weak implementation of road safety rules often results in tragic accidents in the south-east Asian archipelago. In September, a similar incident took place in West Java province, when a bus plunged into a ravine, leaving 21 people dead. On the same road in West Java, 12 people died when a bus smashed into two cars, leading a truck to roll.