International students from Indonesia and Malaysia, aged 10-12, were hurt in a bus crash in Perth's Hills, Thursday, around 7:40 pm, Perth Now reports. Twenty-four people were on board the bus, 14 were students and 10 were adults. Twenty-one were Malaysian nationals, 2 Indonesians and the bus driver a Ballajura man.
The bus was transporting the kids to a campsite at Lake Leschenaultia, about 50 km east of Perth when the accident happened. It swerved from Toodyay Road after failing to take a right-hand bend, knocked down a speed sign, rolled and fell into a drainage ditch 2 km west of Gidgegannup, 40km east of the city, the report said.
The international students were scheduled to attend a 2-day forum by the Swan River Trust. Millenium Kids, the not-for-profit organisation, hosted the students.
According to a statement from Millenium Kids' chairman Rachael Cochrain, the students were mostly from the Kuala Lumpur-based Malaysian group E-ijau. Three of the students are from Tunas Indonesia, a youth environment organisation based in Surabaya, Indonesia.
All the people on board the bus are now in stable condition. Students with broken bones were the only serious injury cases. According to Cochrain, Millenium Kids is already in contact with Indonesian and Malaysian Consulates as well as the families of the victims.
According to the preliminary investigation conducted by Major Crash investigators, the driver passed alcohol testing.
"At this stage a mechanical inspection is being conducted on the bus to determine if anything went wrong. The driver has been breath tested and we don't believe alcohol was an issue in this case. At this stage we believe he has an appropriate license," Major Crash Unit officer in charge Detective Senior Sergeant Brian Hunter said.
"This would have been a traumatic experience immediately after the crash, emergency services were on hand very shortly afterwards, there were a lot of ambulances, a lot of police, a lot of fire teams, so it would have been traumatic," Hunter added.
The site of the crash seemed to be an accident prone area, as another accident happened in the area on Wednesday at about 6 pm. The area had also a record of a number of crashes in the past.