Melaka extends aid to accident victims

The Melaka state government has expressed its condolences to the families of those killed in a crash involving two buses, a van and three cars at Km223 of the North-South Expressway near Simpang Ampat toll plaza yesterday.

Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the state government would extend a RM1,000 funeral aid for each victim, RM1,000 aid for seriously injured victims and RM500 for those with light injuries.

“To the families involved, I hope they have the patience to endure this difficulty,” he told reporters after consoling families of the victims at the Melaka Hospital here early Monday.

In the 6.40pm accident, 12 people were killed and about 40 others injured when a north-bound express bus crashed through the guardrail and ploughed into five vehicles heading in the opposite direction.

Eleven of the injured victims were warded at the Melaka Hospital while other victims were admitted to the Tampin Hospital and the Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital, Seremban.

Mohd Ali said he would propose to the government to reduce the express bus speed limit to 90km per hour as a measure to curb accidents.

An atmosphere of sorrow and gloom hung over the Melaka Hospital when family members wept as the bodies of 12 victims arrived at the mortuary at midnight last night.

Mohd Ali stayed at the morgue until 4.30am to calm family members as they waited for autopsy and the bodies to be released to be brought home for burial.

A mobile police station was set up near the mortuary.

Meanwhile, the police confirmed those killed in the accident were nine locals and three Myanmar nationals.

They were express bus driver R.Ramachandra, 52, from Kampung Tengah, Klebang Besar and express bus passengers Muhammad Farizuddin Talib, 19, (Balai Panjang, Malim), Azizi Ajis, 19, (Kampung Japis, Nyalas), Norazmi Abdul Karim, 24, (Kampung Pondok Kempas, Selandar), Sharene Sofia Fadzry Tan, 18, (Semabok Perdana), and Nur Shafika Baba, 29, (Pokok Mangga, Melaka).

The three Myanmar men were Pau Khan Tual, 21, Kam Khaw Tual, 28, and Cin Thawa Tuang, (age unknown). The vehicle they were travelling in had yet to be confirmed.

Others were van driver Goo Chuan Heng, 34, from Taman Maju, Batu Pahat, Pang Shi Moei, 57, (Taman Segar, Segamat) and Eng Sok Kuan, 52, (Kuala Lumpur). The vehicle Pang and Eng were travelling in had yet to be confirmed.