The KNKT investigators have begun their probe by thoroughly checking the site of this traffic accident, Head of the South Sumatra Transportation Office Nelson Firdaus in Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra Province, on Friday.
"The KNKT investigators have been collecting the data needed to probe this bus mishap to uncover the causes, including the operational safety of the bus," he said.
All modes of public transportation must regularly be inspected to ensure they meet all safety standards before being operated, and their drivers need also respect traffic regulations for the safety of their passengers, he said.
To this end, if the drivers feel exhausted, they must take a break, he added.
Baca juga: Sriwijaya Bus accident near Pagaralam death toll touches 35
On Friday, the fourth day of the search and evacuation operations, the death toll had reached 35. The operations would be continued Saturday amid no official manifest, thereby making it difficult to give a definite count.
During their operations lasting two days, the SAR workers found 13 passengers alive, who had sustained injuries in the accident.
Seven other bodies were found inside and outside the bus on Wednesday. Several bodies had drifted along in the currents of Lematang River, according to Head of the Palembang Search and Rescue Agency's Operational and Preparedness Division Benteng Telau.
The bus, plying on the Bengkulu-Palembang route, plunged into an 80-meter-deep ravine and crashed into the river near Pagaralam City, South Sumatra Province, on Monday evening. However, the search and rescue operations began Tuesday.
The number of the dead could probably rise since the South Sumatra Police revealed that the bus carried 54 people, he stated, adding that both, the victims and survivors were mostly residents of the provinces of Bengkulu and South Sumatra.
Among the dead passengers were children Rayhan Ghani (3), Ayu Intan (9), and Fadhil (10), as well as the bus driver, Fery, and his assistant, Yuda Sanjaya.
The bus carried 37 passengers, earlier reports said. However, the actual passenger count was yet to be ascertained in the absence of an official manifest.
The real cause of this accident has yet to be publicly disclosed since the local police's investigation is still underway. (INE)