JAKARTA, Indonesia – A tourist bus crashed into a ravine on Indonesia’s main island of Java after the brakes appeared to be malfunctioning. At least 26 people were killed and 35 others injured, police and rescuers said on Thursday.
The bus was carrying a group of Islamic students and their parents from Subang City, West Java Province, to a pilgrimage site in the province’s Tasikmalaya district when the accident occurred on a winding road late Wednesday, local police chief Eko Prasetyo Robbyanto said.
He said the bus crashed into the 65-foot deep gorge after the driver lost control of the vehicle in an area with several sharp drops.
Police are still investigating the cause of the accident, but survivors told authorities that the vehicle’s brakes did not appear to be working properly, Robbyanto said.
Bandung search and rescue chief Deden Ridwansah said the 26 bodies and 35 injured were rushed to a hospital and a nearby health clinic. He said rescuers are still looking for someone else trapped on the bus.
Thirteen of the injured were treated for serious injuries, Ridwansah said. The driver was among those killed.
The television video showed police and rescuers from the National Search and Rescue Agency evacuating injured victims and taking the dead to ambulances. Mourning relatives waited at Sumedang General Hospital for information about their loved ones.
Road accidents are common in Indonesia due to poor safety standards and infrastructure.
In December 2019, 35 people were killed when a passenger bus crashed into a 262-foot gorge and plunged into a fast-flowing river in Sumatra. In early 2018, 27 people were killed after a fully occupied tourist bus fell off a hill in the hilly area of West Java.