Fourteen passengers and an express bus driver were injured when the bus skidded and veered onto the road shoulder before landing on its side in a drain at the south-bound lane of kilometre 265 of the North-South Expressway after the Menora Tunnel early today.
Meru Fire and Rescue Station chief Shahrudi Muhamad Halil said the station was alerted of the incident, involving 12 men and three women, aged between 14 and 59, at 2.22am.
Following which, he said, a team of 16 firefighters from the Meru and Ipoh fire and rescue stations rushed to the scene.
On arrival, they found an express bus landing on its side in a drain and two of the victims were seriously injured, he said when contacted by Bernama.
Shahrudi said the injured victims were then sent to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital for treatment.
The 39-year-old bus driver is believed to have fallen asleep behind the wheel.
Ipoh Deputy OCPD Superintendent Mohamad Nordin Abdullah said the driver, who is from Alor Star, sustained light injuries to his legs.
Supt Mohamad Nordin said the driver, who was placed under arrest, had 19 previous traffic summonses issued against him.
“He fell asleep briefly, and that caused the express bus heading to Kuala Lumpur from Kulim to skid off the expressway before falling into a drain.
“Twelve of the passengers sustained minor injuries while two more sustained serious injuries, one to the head and the other to the torso,” he added.
The case is being investigated under Section 44(1) of the Road Transport Act for driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.