Tragedy in Indonesia after bus carrying pilgrims crashes, killing 27

Thursday, March 11

By Ciarán Mather

Today marks a sad occasion in Indonesia as a bus carrying Muslim pilgrims plunged into a 65 feet (20 metre) deep ravine.

The bus was carrying a number of junior high school students, parents and teachers on their way back from a religious excursion, according to local police chief Eko Prasetyo Robbyanto.

Although 39 people survived and were treated at a local hospital, there were 27 recorded fatalities: some of which were children, rescue agency official Mamang Fatmono told AFP News.

The bus reportedly landed on its side in the ravine, which is located in Sumedang in the West Java province, after the driver (who was among those killed in the crash) allegedly lost control.

Other survivors claim that the breaks on the bus had malfunctioned.

Rescue agency chief Deden Ridwansah has since said that thirteen of the survivors were being treated for serious injuries.

Local police are carrying out an investigation into the crash.

According to the news site DW, a similar accident on the island of Sumatra killed 35 people in late 2019 after a bus fell into a ravine and crashed into a fast-flowing river.

The previous year, around 27 people were killed when a tourist bus fell from a hill on Java.

Given these tragic deaths, it seems that Indonesia may have an issue regarding its infrastructure.

Whether human error or badly constructed roads were a potential factor in the deaths remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: the issue of infrastructure needs to be addressed.