Horrific Halloween train-fuel tanker collision near KK Airport (updated)

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A huge dark plume billowed from a fiery explosion near the Kota Kinabalu Airport after a fuel lorry tanker crashed into a train in front of a petrol station.

“The plume of smoke was something you would only see in the movies,” a motorist, about 100 metres from the scene, told me after the explosion rocked the area at around 5.35pm. He had been stuck in the jam for over 90 minutes.

At least five ambulances have raced to the scene. Red Crescent ambulances and Civil Defence Rescue trucks, sirens wailing, have also responded. The Star later reported that eight people have been hurt, and 34 of the 200 passengers could not be traced, but police have ascertained, as of 7.45pm, that no one else was inside the wrecked carriages. So far, no one has been reported dead. A more detailed search is being carried out.

The railway track runs parallel to the road on one side while the runway is on the other side.

The collision occurred close to the Jalan Kepayan-Jalan Lintas junction in front of a Shell petrol station near the airport.

From the video, you can see that the railway line runs in between the road and the petrol station, and the crossing to get into the petrol station from the road is unmanned with no gates or barriers, said the motorist. The Star report refers to it as an “unmanned crossing”. The train collided with the lorry tanker, laden with 27000 litres of fuel, as it entered the petrol station to make a delivery.


Another report by a TopCatSi on Youtube provides a slightly differing account:

A loaded fuel tanker driving away from kota kinabalu centre was involved in a traffic accident which made it swerve into a passenger train right outside the terminal1 international airport mayhem followed as the brave firemen tried in vain to put out this ever worst-en fire. There efforts where made harder with no fire hydrant in the near facility thus NO water the airport fire engines took some time to arrive but when they did they could only dampen the growing fire when the second airport engine arrived they got this under control …. what you cannot see in the film is the brave firemen on the other side of the train trying to help the injured and control the now burning train.

Grey clouds in an overcast sky contributed to the lower visibility, just before rain fell an hour later at around 6.45pm. The dark grey plumes matched the darkening clouds, adding to the grim, sombre atmosphere.

The motorist mentioned earlier said that small unmanned crossings without barrier gates are common in Kota Kinabalu. The bigger crossings have barrier gates.

But he noticed that barriers at a railway crossing at the intersection near the Kepayan Police Station didn’t seem to be operating. Whenever a train was about to cross, a safety cone would be placed on the road, and there would be a railway staff standing and waving vehicles to a stop.

It would be difficult to see this in poor light, said the motorist, who added he almost rammed into the railway staff once. The motorist said that he had faxed a letter to a local newspaper pointing this out. “What is the point of having barriers if you don’t use it?” he had asked in the letter. The letter was not published.

He added that he had seen other crossings in the area where the barriers were also not operating. Street lighting in Jalan Lintas was also poorly maintained, he complained.

I got in touch with Hiew King Cheu, the MP for Kota Kinabalu.

“This is definitely the fault of the government,” he said.

Hiew said he had raised the matter of the “accident-prone” Tanjung Aru-Kinarut railway line in Parliament a couple of years ago, when he asked for the 6-7 mile stretch to be closed and the railway station relocated from Tanjung Aru to Kinarut.


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In any case, this short stretch is hardly used by commuters. The DAP MP added there were about 50 crossings along this stretch and most of these were unmanned without autogates. A number of accidents have occurred along this short stretch over the years, he noted.

In view of the poor safety precautions at such railway crossings, more accidents could be waiting to happen.

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Keith/ sandakan

what had happen,alrdy happen.. no point to finger whos right or wrong.. better find a solution 2 prevent from happening again..hope the state goverment wake up from dis tragedy…

Keith

what had happen,alrdy happen..now find a better solution 2 prevent from happening again..hope the state goverment wake up from dis tragedy…

Keith

what had happen,alrdy happen..now find a better solution 2 prevent from happening again..hope d Sabah
state goverment wake up from dis tragedy…

Menard

I still think the absurb wastage and over-spending (>RM 3 billion based on sampling lone) and the escalating national debt (RM407 billion) as seen on the A-G report is more horrific and disturbing. Perhaps Anil is immune to it as there is no report on his blog.

PAK MERIT

if Anil’s fans see him being frustrated, then how can they have the semangat to let the country flow like mighty river ?
So be positive and brave to voice out consistently like many at Speakers Corner of Esplanade every Friday rain or shine.
My salute to Pakcik Lim and members there !

Sunny

Disasters waiting to happen (sad)… thank you for this coverage… looks like you are ahead of the mainstream media again…

John

Barrier gates installed for so long but never ever used at all. Guess these barrier gates are only for decoration.

FenceSitter

If any investigation is ever done, the finding will most likely be “brake failure”. Meanwhile, let’s hope no one is injured.

Nazri Aziz Bukhari

Mr. Anil, what happened to the 34 that could not be traced? It is really sad that this had to happen before something is done. Right in the heart of KK! Can you believe it folks? Better vote Pakatan Rakyat if you want development! If you are the safe deposit box, this is what you get! Make them salivate, make them work for your votes! Penang is a good example, the repair of the Penang Airport is reportedly worth RM200 million? I.E without taking into account cost overruns? So conveniently used, by the ex corrupt Gerakan led State Government who… Read more »

Gerakan K

Aiseh boh kari, apa pun BN pula salah kah ??? Lain kali kamu sembelit pun kata BN punya salah ~

Andrew I

We forgot. Good governance is not about clearing drains according to you, so neither is putting up gates and barriers.

tunglang

‘Good governance’ according to Gelakan Korek is running the Gravy Trains along Malaysian red lines of Pok Khai! Never mind that these Gravy Trains run down the lives of average Rakyat to the dingoes.
To these like minded of Korek, the last Gravy Train is about to halt somewhere in the middle of Belum comes GE13. And the beasts of burden and dissatisfaction will devour these like minded Korek on board to the bones!

LBJ

Cucumber. This road configuration is waiting for a disaster to happen. The govt planners should have made the changes to avoid such potential problem. This is the govt’s job. This is bad BN government. Go get pickled.

Nazri Aziz Bukhari

Sabahans, oh, poor Sabahans! Wither thou oil revenue, timber revenue, natural gas revenue, and now just look at how much the UMNO led Government cares for you folks? Sabahans with all the State’s wealth should not be subjected to such atrocious amenities. Where had all the money gone? Why is safety of the people so badly compromised? How can those barriers be not working and no repair done? Sabahans, oh, Sabahans, this huge explosion is to wake you up, and for you to realize how much you had been short changed! Huguan Siow ke tak, just bangkit and throw this… Read more »

john

Can you imagine some politicians don even know that the barrier gates were not operational yet such as pairin who is the minister of infrastructure. But heard that he has the time to attend the court case as a spectator of the late YB from Sandakan who was involved in a big bike crash. These are the real jokers. Sabah Railway Director and all top management must be sacked as well as the authorities that allow the SHELL station to operate on the other side of the rail line.What hapened to the missing 34? Perish and vaporized?