JAKARTA, Indonesia - Seven passengers of a Mutiara Indah Murni tourist bus died Sunday as bus they were traveling in crashed in Ngembal village, Tutur (Nongkojajar) district in Pasuruan regency, East Java, on Sunday.
Five passengers died on the scene, while two other died on the way to Ganesha Medica hospital in Purwosari.
Survivors said they smelled burning braking pads just before the accident as the bus was rolling downhill. Passengers said the bus went out of control, especially after the driver, Slamet, slammed to the left in an attempt to avoid a motorcycle, kompas.com reported on Sunday.
Unfortunately, one of the bus' wheels struck a large stone, causing the bus to roll several times before coming to rest on the shoulder of the opposing lane, blocking traffic along the highway.
The bus carried some 60 residents taking a tour from the Candi Lontar housing complex, located in the Sambikerep district of Surabaya, East Java.
They had just visited the Agro Bhakti Alam tourism site in Ngembal village and were heading for the Sengkaling public bath in Malang regency. The bus had only traveled two kilometers from Agro Bhakti Alam when the accident occurred.
One of the passengers, Sasongko, said the bus had broken down in the Purwosari area on their way to Ngembal village.
He said the radiator leaked and the bus had braking problems. âThe driver sealed the leakage simply using a bar of soap. The leaking radiator showed that the bus was not roadworthy,â he told kompas.com.
Nongkojajar Police chief Adj. Comr. Marwan Ishari Purnomo said the police had detained the driver for further questioning.