Saturday January 12, 2013
Mob torches RTD vehicle after pile-up
By FONG KEE SOON and IVAN LOH
SITIAWAN: An angry mob overturned a Road Transport Depart-ment (RTD) vehicle and set it ablaze following a pile-up in Ayer Tawar involving 11 vehicles.
An oil palm-laden lorry had hit the back of the RTD Toyota Fortuner vehicle which had stopped at a traffic light junction near the SM Methodist at about 12.20pm yesterday, causing a pile-up.
Manjung deputy OCPD Deputy Supt Ahmad Mat Isa said four JPJ officers got down to check on what had happened when a group confronted them.
“They fled when the mob got near them,'' he said, adding that the officers got into a passing vehicle and lodged a report at the Seri Manjung police station.
DSP Ahmad Isa said the JPJ vehicle was set on fire but firemen who were already there to help those hurt in the pile-up put out the flames.
He denied claims that the JPJ vehicle had earlier swerved in front of the lorry, causing the other vehicles to crash into each other.
A video of the incident uploaded by an online news portal showed at least two policemen present as the mob got bigger.
DSP Ahmad said the mishap also involved two other lorries, two school buses, four cars and a motorcycle.
He said five people who were hurt in the pile-up were admitted to the district hospital while 20 others received outpatient treatment.
A Sitiawan Fire and Rescue Department personnel said his men were harassed by the mob while they were helping the accident victims.
“They threw hard objects at us, including wood. There were 14 of us and fortunately none were injured,” said the officer, who added that the firemen had also lodged a police report.
State DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham, who is the Sitiawan assemblyman, blamed the JPJ for causing the accident.
He tweeted that the JPJ vehicle had crossed over a divider to get before the lorry, causing the pile-up.
Perak JPJ director Ramli Awg Seberang, when contacted, declined comment. “I think it's best to leave it to the police to investigate,” he said.