BUKIT MERTAJAM: Passengers on board the factory bus involved in an accident after stopping on the shoulder of the North-South Expressway, say the driver was speeding before the engine over-heated.
Rafizah, 22, an Indonesian national, said most of the factory workers in the bus lived in the dormitory provided by their employer at Simpang Ampat, Sungai Bakap, and were on their way to the Sony factory in Perai.
“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.
“The smoke grew thicker, and soon 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 Bernama when met at the Seberang Jaya Hospital (HSJ) here, yesterday.
She said the situation spiralled out of control, and their bus was pushed to the middle of the road, with several passengers thrown out of the vehicle due to the impact.
Rafizah, who has worked in Malaysia for a year, said many passengers on the bus screamed in fear and were crying.
“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 was injured in the face and body.
Meanwhile, Wirda, 36, said her younger sister, Rosa, 19, who works in Penang, suffered serious injuries to her head, back and legs.
The Indonesian who has lived in Penang for the past six years and is married to a local, said she rushed to HSJ as soon as she learnt about the accident. However, as of 11.30am, she was unable to see Rosa or find out about her condition as her sister was still in the emergency ward.
Meanwhile, Nor Shakirah Ishak, a victim on board the other factory bus, said she was asleep when she was suddenly jerked awake by a loud bang, and the bus driver instructing everyone 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 her work place suddenly hit another bus in front of them carrying Sony employees.
“Our bus was not going so fast. However, the bus had broken down and was 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.
However, she lamented the loss of her close friend, Noriah Kasa, 40, who died in the incident.