BUKIT MERTAJAM (BERNAMA) - Eight female factory workers lost their lives while 23 others were seriously injured in a three-vehicle accident at Km147 of Malaysia's North-South Expressway in Penang on Tuesday (Oct 24).
Ten other people sustained light injuries in the 5.30am crash on the northbound side near Juru Toll Plaza in Penang's Bukit Mertajam, according to Seberang Perai Tengah district police chief Nik Ros Azhan Nik Abdul Hamid.
Seven of the victims were Indonesians, the Indonesian Consul-General in Penang, Iwanshah Wibisono, said. The families of the victims will be notified after their bodies have been identified, he said.
Nik Ros said based on initial reports, the accident involved two factory buses and one factory van which were carrying a total of 40 passengers, all women. The three drivers were men.
The crash occurred when the factory bus, which had pulled over to the left lane due to engine breakdown, was rammed from the rear by another factory bus on its way to send local workers, from Perak to a factory in Penang. The other factory bus was carrying Indonesian and Nepalsese workers of a Sony factory.
"A factory bus which had pulled over to the left due to engine breakdown was rammed from the rear by another factory bus. The impact thrust the stationary bus to the right of the expressway," he said. "A factory van on the same lane was then hit by the two buses," he added.
Nik Ros Azhan said some of the workers were flung out of the bus on the left.
"The identities of the deceased are being ascertained and their remains have been sent to Seberang Jaya Hospital, he said. He said two victims who were in critical condition were sent to Penang Hospital.