The Mazda sports utility vehicle (SUV) that crashed through the Penang Bridge two days ago with the body of its driver trapped inside was lifted from the sea at about 6pm today.
A group of divers had been testing the water currents since this morning before they could start recovery efforts at 4pm on Tuesday (Jan 22).
Rescue personnel started the actual operation to hoist the 1.5-tonne car out of the water at around 5.45pm and took about 20 minutes to bring it up onto the bridge.
Initially, the first harness that divers strapped around the car underwater snapped before the wreck could even surface.
The divers then went down a second time with a larger harness and were successful this time.
“We had to wait until the tide was at the lowest and the current slowed down before we could safely dive in and strap the car,” said one of the recovery personnel on the bridge, who declined to be named.
The wreckage was submerged at a depth of 15m, about 15m away from where it went over the barrier.
The vehicle, which is in a badly-mangled state, was hoisted using four cables attached to a crane.
The recovery team grew solemn upon seeing a lifeless body, believed to be 20-year-old college student Moey Yun Peng still pinned to the driver’s seat of the badly damaged SUV.
The recovery team on the bridge then extricated Moey’s body from the vehicle before it was sent to Seberang Jaya Hospital for a post-mortem.
Scores of curious onlookers gathered to witness the recovery operation.
The SUV plunged into the sea after a collision with a black car at 2.54am on Sunday (Jan 20).