JAKARTA, Indonesia — A tourist bus plummeted into a ravine on Indonesia’s main island of Java after its brakes apparently malfunctioned, killing at least 26 people and injuring 35 others, police and rescuers said Thursday.
The bus was carrying a group of Islamic junior high school students and their parents from the West Java province town of Subang to a pilgrimage site in the province’s Tasikmalaya district when the accident happened late Wednesday on a winding road, the local police chief Eko Prasetyo Robbyanto said.
He said the bus plunged into the 65-fooot-deep ravine after the driver lost control of the vehicle in an area with a number of sharp declines.
The police were still investigating the cause of the accident, but survivors told authorities that the vehicle’s brakes apparently malfunctioned, Robbyanto said.
The Bandung search and rescue agency chief, Deden Ridwansah, said the 26 bodies and 35 injured people were taken to a hospital and a nearby health clinic. He said rescuers are still searching for another person trapped in the bus.
Thirteen of the injured were treated for serious injuries, Ridwansah said. The driver was among those killed.
Television video showed police and rescuers from the National Search and Rescue Agency evacuating injured victims and carrying the dead to ambulances. Grieving relatives waited for information about their loved ones at Sumedang’s general hospital.
Road accidents are common in Indonesia because of poor safety standards and infrastructure.
In December 2019, 35 people were killed when a passenger bus fell into a 262-foot ravine and crashed into a fast-flowing river on Sumatra. In early 2018, 27 people were killed after a packed tourist bus plunged from a hill in West Java’s hilly area.