Mon, 10 Apr 2000

Two die and three injured in scuffle on bus at Senen

JAKARTA (JP): Two people died and three others were injured when passengers tried to disembark from a moving city bus in Senen, Central Jakarta, on Sunday morning, a witness said.

Surasen, one of the injured, identified the two dead victims as Maryani Fajarwati, an employee at the industrial bonded zone in Cakung, East Jakarta, and Puspa, a student at SMP 28 junior high school on Jl. Mardani Raya, Johar Baru subdistrict, Central Jakarta, while the injured were herself and her two sons Fachrul and Dwiki.

"The incident took place at 6 a.m. when I, my two sons and my friend Maryani were on a PPD 52 bus plying the Pulo Gadung-Pasar Baru route," she said at her home on Jl. Baladewa, Tanah Tinggi, Central Jakarta.

She said she, her two sons and Maryani were traveling to the National Monument (Monas) Park, also in Central Jakarta, for a morning walk.

"When the bus passed Atrium Senen shopping center, we and other passengers sitting in the middle of the bus saw a group of men acting suspiciously in the back seat.

"For no reason, some passengers made their way to the front door," she said.

Surasen said tension escalated when an elderly woman in the back seat screamed for help.

"The woman's scream panicked other passengers, who then rushed toward the front door," she said.

She said she approached the driver and told him one of the men had threatened the elderly woman.

"I told him to stop as we wanted to get off the bus there."

The driver, she said, refused to stop and instead increased speed.


The other passengers became anxious and tried to force their way out of the speeding bus.

"Maryani was standing just in front of the door and was pushed by the passengers behind her.

"She fell onto the street and was knocked unconscious," Surasen said in tears.

Puspa was pushed by other passengers and fell down, with her head hitting the street.

Surasen said she held onto her younger son Dwiki but failed to grab Fachrul, who was also pushed off the bus by other passengers jumping off the vehicle.

"Fearing that Fachrul might be hit by other vehicles, I jumped as well to catch him."

Senen Police substation chief Maj. Pratikno said Puspa died on the spot and her body was sent to Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital's morgue, while Maryani, Surasen and her two sons were rushed to Gatot Subroto Army Hospital, some 300 meters from the site of the accident. Maryani died a few hours later.

He said the police were investigating the incident.

"We are still in the dark about the robbery attempt because we have no further information about the victims and the number of suspects, or their physical characteristics," Pratikno said.

He said the bus driver fled the scene, while Surasen could not remember the bus' registration number.

"Surasen will be summoned later because she presently is no condition for further questioning," Pratikno said. (06)