CHIANG MAI: "Come back, come home where you belong," they called out to the pieces of wreckage, hoping to catch the attention of their loved ones' souls.
All the deceased are from Batu Pahat, Johor.
About seven family members of the Malaysians killed in the bus crash along Highway 118 in the Doi Saket district here participated in ritual prayers at the site of the accident on Tuesday.
During the 30-minute ritual led by three Buddhist monks, the next-of-kin openly wept and repeatedly said the names of the deceased out loud, calling for them to return to their homeland.
"It's time to come home, please follow us back home. Please don't stay here, this is not a good place," they said fervently.
One next-of-kin, who lost more than one family member in the horrifying incident, got down on his knees and prayed for the loved ones he missed.
A woman, learnt to a staff member from Chiu Travel Sdn Bhd, shouted the names of everyone, including tour leader Png Ee Ting, 23, to return to Batu Pahat, Johor.
"You're a very strong girl Ee Ting. Bring everyone home.
"Everyone here, its time to go home. We're taking the next flight back to Johor" the woman shouted in Mandarin.
Towards the end of the prayer session, family members were ushered to the centre of the crash site, where they lit incense sticks before placing offerings in containers made of banana stems around the area.
The heart-wrenching sight of family members crying and shouting out the names of the deceased around the area also spurred a few locals living nearby to come over and make offerings.
Police and hospital volunteers were also on hand to provide support and console family members, who later returned to the Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai hospital to claim the bodies of the 13 deceased Malaysians.
Source: The Star Online.
A Royal Thai Air Force Hercules C130 plane containing 13 coffins took off from the Wing 41 Chiang Mai Military Airport at 10.55pm Thailand time Tuesday.
The loading was done in accordance with Buddhist rituals, with a monk present to conduct the ceremony.
The bodies of 13 Malaysians killed in a bus crash here have been sent back to Malaysia.