Malaysia crash: Toll rises to 37 after bus plunges into ravine

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Malaysian emergency services personnel rescue a passenger (C) after a bus carrying tourists and local residents fell into a ravine near the Genting Highlands, about an hour's drive from Kuala Lumpur on August 21, 2013Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Injured passengers were sent to nearby hospitals

At least 37 people are now known to have died after a packed bus plunged into a deep ravine near a Malaysian mountain resort, officials say.

The bus, carrying dozens of passengers, crashed in the Genting Highlands in Pahang on Wednesday afternoon.

It fell about 60 metres (200 feet) after it veered off a winding slope. Workers had to use ropes and cranes to winch survivors to safety.

Sixteen passengers were rescued alive from the crash site.

The nationalities of the victims cannot be confirmed but survivors included Malaysians, Bangladeshis, Indonesians and Thai nationals, the Associated Press news agency quotes officials as saying.

The Genting Highlands has Malaysia's only legal casino and attracts many domestic and foreign tourists. Transport on the road near the crash site is reported to be restricted.

Local media reports say that the bus itself had been black-listed by the road transport department prior to the crash but there are no further details as to why.

After the crash the authorities launched a major rescue effort, with hundreds of fire fighters, police and medical teams in attendance.

Wednesday's accident is thought to be one of Malaysia's deadliest road disasters.