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Driver killed, 23 pupils hurt in bus accident

PENANG, 2 Feb 2009: A driver was killed while 23 pupils were injured when the school bus they were travelling in plunged into a river at Jalan Masjid Negeri here today.

Penang traffic staff officer DSP Wari Kiew said the bus driver, Koe Joan Huat, who was in his 40s, died at the scene while two pupils were admitted to the Penang Hospital for eye and hand injuries.

He said other pupils were given outpatient treatment at the hospital.

“Joan Huat was ferrying the children to SJK Chung Hwa Confusion when he lost control of the vehicle and veered to the right side of the road and plunged into the river at 7.30am,” said Wari Kiew when contacted today.

He said the driver succumbed to head injuries as he knocked his head against the front windscreen of the bus.

A student, Lee Tze Juan, 12, said he saw the driver throw up and rub his head before the bus nosedived into the river.

“Before that, the bus went into the opposite lane of the road a few times and almost knocked into other vehicles.

“We panicked and some students cried as we climbed out of the window of the bus. Passers-by came to our rescue,” he said.

The school’s headmaster, Ng Ah Hoo said the pupils, from standard one to six, would be given counselling to help them recover from the frightening experience.

The driver’s eldest child, Koe In Tze, 26, said his father, who had been driving school bus for the past 20 years, did not show any sign of sickness when he went out to work this morning. — Bernama


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