Four crushed to death in tanker-van collision

Deadly accident: Firefighters using a crane to lift the tanker at the scene.

Deadly accident: Firefighters using a crane to lift the tanker at the scene. KOTA KINABALU: Four people were crushed to death in an accident between a palm oil tanker lorry and minivan in Sabah’s east coast Lahad Datu district. The four – including two women, were killed after the tanker rolled over the van, as the two vehicles landed in a drain following the accident at KM3 Jalan Lahad Datu – Tungku at around 5.45am yesterday.

The victims have been identified as van driver Eddie Luna, 38, and three passengers Mohammad Jujani, 67, Hanisah Baskua, 37 and Kabdatul Alinjaman, 34. The 58-year-old lorry driver, who was unconscious following the accident, was treated at the Lahad Datu district hospital. The van was believed to have been heading towards Lahad Datu town while the lorry was heading towards the Tungku district.

Lahad Datu Fire and Rescue Services station head Mohd Apandi Mahmood said they found the van in a drain with the tanker on top of it after they were alerted at around 6am. He said they had to use three cranes to lift the tanker and the operations to extricate the bodies took about four hours. The bodies were later sent to the hospital for post-mortem.

Family members, who rushed to the hospital, said that they had to identify the victims through their shoes and belt, as some were totally unrecognisable. “I identified my elder brother Mohammad through his shoes and belt,” said Salmah Jujani, 50, who was among family members of the victims at the hospital morgue. She said initially it was difficult to identify any of the badly crushed bodies and it was only when she saw the belt and shoes worn by her brother that she was able to confirm that it was him.

Lahad Datu district police chief Asst Comm Hamzah Ahmad said that they were investigating the cause of the horrific accident and urged the public with any information to come forward to assist in their investigation.

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