KOTA KINABALU: Four tourists from Hong Kong who were on their way to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) sustained serious and minor injuries when a three-carriage passenger train rammed into the Hyundai Ascent car they were travelling in near the Petagas overhead bridge in Putatan here yesterday.
Of the four victims, who were said to be all related, Eddie Lok Wing Tak, 50, was reported to have suffered serious injury on his body after being pinned at the driver’s seat and the Fire and Rescue Services personnel took about an hour to free him.
It is said that they were on their way to KKIA when the train, which was heading to Papar from Tanjung Aru, knocked the side of the Hyundai car that was driven over the railway track in the 5.30pm incident.
It is also learnt that the victims were supposed to catch their flight back to their home country around 8pm the same day.
The Hyundai car was thrown a couple of meters away due to the impact before hitting a Perodua Myvi car that was in front, sending both vehicles to the opposite lane.
A couple, in their 40s and their one-year-old child, who were inside the Myvi car, however escaped unhurt.
City Police chief ACP Jauteh Dikun, who was at the scene, said the injured victim (Lok) had been taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment.
“Initial police investigation shows that four people, two men and two women, in their 50s and 70s, were traveling in the Hyundai car when the incident happened.
“One of the victims has been taken to hospital after being pinned in the car while the remaining victims only suffered minor injuries,” he said, adding that the victims were Hong Kong citizens.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who was also at the scene, said a thorough investigation would be carried out immediately.
“I was made to understand that railway officers had instructed the victims’vehicle to stop as a train was approaching.
“But we believe maybe the driver did not manage to stop on time which caused the collision,” he said.
Pairin also said that some 200 passengers in the train escaped unhurt.
This is the second train accident reported along the Tanjung Aru-Papar railway track within two years.
On October 31, 2011, a three-carriage passenger train collided with a fuel tanker at Kilometer 18, Petagas Road, also near the KKIA.
The tanker, reported to be transporting some 27,000 liters of fuel, was turning into a petrol station when it collided with the train around 5.30pm, which was carrying some 200 passengers on its way to Papar after departing the Tanjung Aru train station.
Nine train passengers were injured in the incident, but miraculously no casualties were reported.
It was said that upon impact, the first carriage jumped the track while the second unit landed on top of the tanker that exploded at the crossing.