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Indonesia bus crash: 20 dead

Passengers were returning from prayer meeting reporters, Cisarua & Jakarta

August 22, 2013

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Twenty people, including 18 members of a Protestant church group were killed when a tour bus plunged into a ravine on Wednesday in West Java’s Bogor district. Dozens more were injured.

The Protestants, from the Jakarta-based Blessed Indonesian Emmanuel Bethel Church (GBI), were returning home after attending a three-day prayer meeting in Cipanas in Cianjur district when the accident occurred.

According to reports, the bus was traveling at high speed when it struck a parked pickup truck on a bend near Puncak Pass, a mountain resort near the town of Cisarua.

The impact knocked the two vehicles off the road and plunged 12 meters into a ravine. The bus landed upside down on top of the truck.

Eighteen passengers on the bus died, while two local people were also killed.   

Just before the crash the bus driver had said that the brakes had failed, according to survivors.   

“We panicked, all we could do was pray to God,” said Bona Marbun, one of the survivors.

Kusnendi Soehardjo from the National Committee for Transportation Safety said on Thursday that a detailed investigation would be carried out.

“We are still collecting factual data. We need to question the bus driver first before speaking to survivors,” he said.

The driver, who survived the crash, was later arrested after police discovered the bus had not undergone any safety checks in eight years.    

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