Death toll in Indonesia bus plunge rises to 35 as more victims found

Rescue workers carry the body of a passenger of Sriwijaya bus following an accident in South Sumatra province, Indonesia December 24 2019. — Antara Foto pic via Reuters
Rescue workers carry the body of a passenger of Sriwijaya bus following an accident in South Sumatra province, Indonesia December 24 2019. — Antara Foto pic via Reuters

JAKARTA, Dec 26 — At least 35 people were killed when a bus plunged into a ravine in Indonesia, officials said in a new toll today, making it one of the most deadly bus accidents in recent years.

A rescue team in Indonesia's island of Sumatra today continued the search for a third day to find more bodies after seven new victims were found in a river late yesterday.

According to a passenger manifest, the regional bus left Bengkulu province for Pagar Alam with 27 on board but some survivors told police there were around 50 people inside when the accident happened on Monday just before midnight.

Spokesman for a local rescue team in South Sumatra Taufan, who only goes by one name like many Indonesians, said today that of the 35 people killed, 16 were male and 19 female.

“The rescue team is searching the river 6 kilometres towards the north using rafting,” Taufan told AFP today.

The team has evacuated at least 13 survivors and the search is still ongoing to find more bodies over fears that some might have been carried away in the river.

At least eight of the passengers killed were children, local police chief Dolly Gumara said yesterday.

Traffic accidents are common in the South-east Asian archipelago, where vehicles are often old and poorly maintained and road rules regularly flouted. — AFP

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