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2 die in train plunge
Published on: Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tenom: A train with 41 passengers derailed and plunged into the Sungai Padas shortly after it left the station here for Beaufort, Wednesday, killing a man and a woman.The tragedy occurred about five km from the station and opposite the Pangi hydro power plant at about 3.25pm. The ground where the track was laid caved in, derailing the train, which left the station at about 2.50pm.

The two deceased were believed to be locals in their 40s. Their identities were unavailable at press time.

District Police Chief, DSP Mazlan Hj Lazim said 16 passengers sustained injuries and were admitted to the district hospital while the rest received only outpatient treatment.

A passenger, Ambutung Simbalui, said he sensed something wrong with the way the train was travelling.

"I felt as if the train skipped a few tracks and jolted É then suddenly the front coach nosedived into the water," said the 50-year-old. Another passenger, Marius Sariu, 36, said he sustained injuries after the train plunged into the murky water.

"Everyone panicked and was scrambling to find their way out," he said.

The Tenom rail track had encountered several mishaps within the last decade that also incurred the loss of lives.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman has ordered a thorough investigation into the tragedy. He extended his deepest condolences to the families of the two victims and said the Government will do everything it can to assist those affected.

He also called on the relevant authority, namely the Ministry of Infrastructure, to check the tracks along the entire route before the trains are allowed to resume operations.

"The safety of public transport is paramount. We must take necessary precautions to avert future disasters," he said.



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