9 workers killed in Tapah van-lorry crash

TAPAH, 28 Oct 2017: 

Nine plantation workers, eight of them women, were killed when their van collided head-on with a lorry transporting ice along Jalan Air Kuning-Mambang Diawan near here early today, according to police.

Tapah Police chief Supt Som Sak Din Keliau said the accidentoccurred at 6.50am near Kampung Haji Dahlan.

He said the driver of the van and the eight women passengers died on the spot. The lorry driver was badly injured.

“The lorry transporting ice was going from Kampar to Air Kuning while the van was heading in the opposite direction when the accident happened.”

The bodies of the nine workers were sent to the Tapah Hospital while the driver of the lorry was taken to the Kampar Hospital for treatment, he said.

For 64-year-old Chan Kim Yuan, his daily predawn routine of watching his wife hang out their clothes at the couple’s home here will sadly, never be the same again.

The man would make small talk with Wong Yoke Yen, 61, as she went about her household chores before she headed to Pasar Air Kuning to take a van to work at a plantation in Malam Nawar.

This morning, too, it was the same routine for the aging couple as they chatted while Wong put the clothes out to dry.

Except that as Wong and eight other plantation workers, including the van driver, were heading to the plantation, sadly, none of them reached their destination.

The nine, aged between 32 and 82, perished on the spot when the van collided head-on with an ice-laden lorry at 6.45am at the 45km stretch of Jalan Ipoh-Teluk Intan near Mambang Di Awan.

A grief-stricken Chan said Wong was returning to work today, following two days of sick leave due to diabetes and high blood pressure.

“I was unaware that I was chatting with Wong for the last time when she was hanging the clothes out to dry about 5am today.

“Even as she left for work at the plantation, I did not realise it would be the last time I was bidding her goodbye,” he said at the Tapah Hospital’s forensic unit.

The lorry driver, Mohd Eizat Hani, 22, who was seriously injured has been warded at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh.

Meanwhile, the van driver’s father, Lew Di Lia, 66, said he was informed of the crash involving his son, San Jau, 32, about an hour after the crash.

He said San Jau, the second of three siblings would normally go out at 5am to fetch the workers at Pasar Air Kuning to the plantation located about seven kilometres from the market.

– Bernama

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