KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 — Penang police have reportedly said that the van which plunged into a six-metre ravine at Bukit Genting in Balik Pulau, Penang was caused by an engine problem.
English daily The Star quoted South West District Police Chief Supt Kamarul Rizal Jenal saying that the fall, which killed one Singaporean, was caused by the driver not being able to brake in time after restarting a stalled engine.
“He told us the engine stalled for a moment when the van was descending and when he restarted it, the van lunged forward and he could not brake in time along the narrow hilly road,” he was quoted saying.
Kamarul Rizal reportedly said the van would now be sent to Puspakom’s computerised vehicle inspection centre to determine the cause of the accident.
“The driver also told us that he was instructed by a restaurant to pick up the tourists and send them back to their hotels.
“A bus had brought them earlier but the bus could not go up to the hill where the restaurant is located,” he reportedly said.
Yesterday, Kamarul Rizal was quoted by state news agency Bernama yesterday saying there were 11 victims, eight women and three men. Ten were Singaporean tourists while the van driver was a local man.
The Star also quoted Penang tourism and creative economy exco Wong Hon Wai saying he was informed by the tour company that the deceased was Lee Kwee Yiam, 62.
“Six Singaporean tourists have been discharged from hospital and are scheduled to return to Singapore on Tuesday”, he reportedly said.
Wong reportedly said that three others, including the Malaysian driver, were warded at Penang General Hospital and two more at a private hospital.
Two of them suffered broken bones and required further examination but all the victims are in stable condition.
The case is being investigated under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 for allegedly causing death by reckless or dangerous driving, and punishable by five to 10 years of prison or a fine between RM20,000 and RM50,000.