10 dead, 2 injured in northern Malaysia bus crash

AP News
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Posted: Dec 26, 2009 12:31 AM

A bus skidded off a highway and crashed into a barrier in northern Malaysia early Saturday, killing 10 people and injuring two others.

The vehicle spun out of control and slammed into the metal barrier that tore through the lower tier of the double-decker bus, said Wan Abdullah Ishak, a police chief in northern Perak state.

All the victims were Malaysians and seated on the lower deck, he said. Thirty-eight others on the bus were not injured.

Wan Abdullah said the 38-year-old bus driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel. The driver was detained for further investigation. If he is charged with negligence causing death, he faces up to two years in jail.

The bus was heading from central Selangor state to the northernmost state of Perlis, which borders Thailand.

Malaysia has a high-quality highway system with a speed limit of 70 miles (110 kilometers) per hour, but speeding is common and many drivers often do not follow safety procedures.