Jakarta, Indonesia – Students of an Islamic preparatory school were on their way home from a trip to a pilgrimage site in an Indonesian province on the island of Java.
It was raining on Wednesday evening. The surrounding area did not have street lamps. Police said that as their bus was turning on a narrow steep stretch of Waddo Malang Bong Expressway in Sumedang, West Java, the brakes appeared to have failed.
The car, which was carrying 66 people – including students from a school in Subang, their teachers and family members – fell into the narrow valley, 29 killed Including the bus driver. Eleven others were seriously injured.
Police spokesman Didi Jahana said police were still investigating the cause of the accident, but the absence of signs of skidding on the road indicated a brake failure.
He said the bus fell 65 feet into a valley surrounded by farmland in Sumedang. The site of the accident was a government-owned road frequently used by travelers between provinces.
Rescue teams worked overnight to evacuate the victims. On Thursday morning, the body of a boy who was trapped under the inverted bus was recovered. He died while trying to rescue. Some of the survivors were sent to a nearby clinic and hospital and two died during treatment.
Television footage showed relatives lining up in the halls of a hospital and mortuary in Sumedang.
“We express our deep concern and condolences for this incident,” Bodhi Setiadi, Director General of Land Transport at the Indonesian Ministry of Transport, said in a statement on Wednesday.
Mr. Bodhi said officials are considering adding or paving guard rods on the road as they continue to investigate the accident.
Steep gorges and gorges are common along Indonesian highways because they have a lot of hilly terrain. Lack of street lighting and poor infrastructure lead to regular traffic accidents.
On average, three people in Indonesia died every hour from road accidents in the first quarter of 2020, according to the Ministry of Transport.
Authorities said the student group had traveled about six hours from their homes to pay their respects at the grave of Sikh Abdul Muhyi, the missionary who brought Islam to the Tasikamalaya region after the mid-17th century, when Hinduism was still the primary religion in the country. Surrounding area.
Students, teachers, and parents were visiting the site on the eve of a national holiday marking the Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad.
Some Muslim families visit the graves of their relatives on Islamic holidays, using the occasion for outdoor picnics. While some Islamic leaders oppose the practice of Hajj in missionary graves, others allow it.