2003 East Java bus crash

On 8 October 2003, a tour bus carrying schoolgirls collided with two trucks near Situbondo, East Java, killing 54 people. The crash was also called Paiton bus crash or Paiton tragedy due to its location near Paiton thermal power station.

2003 East Java bus crash
Date8 October 2003
LocationSitubondo–Probolinggo Road, Situbondo
Incident typeRoad accident
CauseLost of brakes leading to collision

The bus was returning students to Yapemda Vocational High School in Sleman Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta after a week-long trip to the Indonesian island of Bali. It was driving at night on a busy two-lane highway when it was hit head-on by a truck on the wrong side of the road. A delivery truck then collided with the bus from behind and the wreckage burst into flames.[1][2][3] Passengers could not open the exit doors which had been jammed shut in the collision. Some managed to escape through the windows.[4]

49 schoolgirls, 2 schoolboys, 2 teachers, and a tour guide died.[3] The bus driver and his assistant were badly injured.[5] Police officials said it was the deadliest transport accident that year.[2]

The truck driver and his assistant fled the scene. The assistant was apprehended the same night and the driver a few days later.[5] The driver admitted that the unlicensed assistant had been behind the wheel and that their vehicle had been speeding. he said the brakes had failed and that they were occupying both lanes as they descended the hill.[6]


  1. ^ "54 Dead In Indonesia Bus Crash". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved March 7, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Indonesian crash claims over 50 lives". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved March 7, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "School-bus crash and fire kill 54 in remote East Java - Taipei Times". www.taipeitimes.com. October 10, 2003. Retrieved March 7, 2022.
  4. ^ "CNN.com - Schoolgirls die in bus crash - Oct. 9, 2003". edition.cnn.com. Retrieved March 7, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Agencies (October 9, 2003). "54 dead in Indonesian bus crash". the Guardian. Retrieved March 7, 2022.
  6. ^ "Three detained over fiery Java bus crash". ABC News. October 11, 2003. Retrieved March 7, 2022.