Thursday, April 10, 2008




Jividol Thadeus may never drive another train again following the tragic accident at Lubang Batu, about three kilometres from here yesterday. The train incident which claimed two lives, three seriously injured and 23 escaped with just minor bruises and cuts, has now become his worst experience. “This is my first and last experience ... I will never drive the train again,” said the 49-year-old from Kampung Sugud, Penampang. Jividol joined the Sabah Railway Department 30 years ago and was assigned to drive the train nine years ago. “I have been going through the route all this while. We would take passengers to and from Beaufort and Tenom twice daily. “We left the Tenom Station at 2.5Opm (yesterday) for Beaufort. At around 3.O5pm, the soil suddenly fell and the locomotive and one of the two carriages plunged into the water,” he said when recalling the incident. All he could do was pray and tried his very best to save his life. So were all the other passengers. “I never expected this to happen.. I cut my forehead and had a few bruises on my buttock and chest while trying to get out of the locomotive.., this by far is my worst experience,” he said. His three minutes under water seemed to take forever, but he used all his might to swim up. “There was nothing anybody could do but to save themselves. I just sat on the railway after the incident, everything seemed numb at that time,” said Jividol from his hospital bed. Meanwhile, Sabah Fire and Rescue Services Department Deputy Director Laupen Nuar said they would be going to the site today to investigate on the incident. “We believe there was a landslide that caused the accident. It was raining heavily when we reached there,” he said when contacted. Laupen said a distress call was received at 3.15pm and firemen were rushed to the scene where the train plunged 20 feet into the water. “The water level subsided after the Pangi Dam was closed, allowing us to carry out search operation for the two victims. “We managed to pull out the first victim, a woman, from the wreckage at 6.3Opm, and the second body of a man, who was trapped under the train about four minutes later,” he said, adding that identity of both bodies could not be determined as no documents were found on them. The bodies were sent to the district hospital for post-mortem.