A bus carrying visitors from the Genting Highlands casino and resort in Malaysia, back to the capital Kuala Lumpur, drove off a steep road and fell into a ravine on Wednesday.
The fall from the 200-foot cliff killed at least 37 passengers, including the driver. It is Malaysia’s worst-ever road disaster, an official said.
“The descent was very steep and if the bus was not controlled well it could have skidded and plunged into the ravine," fire and rescue department assistant director Datuk Soiman Jahid told Malaysia news agency Bernama.
Officials said there were 53 people on board, and 16 people survived with injuries, though some are in critical condition. Bangladeshi, Thai and Chinese citizens are reportedly among the dead.
Rescuers were forced to improvise a pulley system to pull injured passengers and dead bodies back up to the road, the Bangkok Post reported.
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Police have said the bus was part of a regular line that ferries visitors between the capital and the hill resort, Agence France-Presse reported.
The flashy resort, with bright lights visible from the city at night, is operated by Malaysian gaming firm Genting, one of the country's largest companies.
The resort includes the country's sole casino and has attracted more than 20 million visitors per year since 2011, AFP said.
It is currently undergoing a reportedly three billion ringgit ($900 million) refurbishment.
Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.