News24

Meyerton bus crash report out soon

2012-06-27 18:02

Johannesburg - A preliminary report on the cause of a bus accident that claimed 19 lives in Meyerton will be available on Friday, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said.

"Teams from the police and RTMC are working together to compile the preliminary report that will give us the major contributing factors to the accident," spokesperson Ashref Ismail said on Wednesday.

"This could tell us if the accident was caused by driver error or vehicle defect. A more detailed report would take four to six weeks."

On Monday morning, a Putco bus driver lost control of the vehicle on the R59 en route to Meyerton. It crashed through a bridge railing before plummeting 10m to the ground, landing on its side.

Fifty-five people were injured, three of them critically. The bus driver was among those killed.

Conflicting information on roadworthiness

The Star reported that the bus was among eight Putco buses taken off the road after they failed a roadworthy test at the Meyerton testing station on June 12. Putco denied this.

"I have the document from the Midvaal municipality dated June 14, indicating that the bus passed the test," Putco spokesperson Raphiri Matsaneng said.

"That boggles me, because if it was true then I would not have this document. We have had accidents in the past. That is why we put measures in place to remedy the situation."

Gauteng's roads and transport portfolio committee said it would help to determine the cause of the accident.

"We will leave no stone unturned and want to involve all relevant stakeholders to ensure that this doesn't happen again," acting chairperson Refilwe Mogale said.

"In order to investigate the efficiency of the service provided to customers, we need to find the shortfalls that might be there."

Arguments on bus


On Tuesday, Putco officials and the committee visited the crash scene, the injured, and relatives of the deceased.

"We interviewed some survivors who told us passengers told the driver to reduce his speed," Mogale said.

"Apparently there were arguments because they were approaching an on-ramp and some passengers wanted him to turn left and others right. He might have also been confused. We will continue investigations and will wait for the report."

Mogale said at least three of the survivors were in intensive care, one in a critical condition and on life-support machines. One passenger suffered memory loss. Those with minor injuries had been discharged.

Earlier, Ismail said the RTMC was worried about the safety of Putco's operations, and that of other buses.

"Every bus found to be unroadworthy is suspicious - we can't allow these hazards on our roads, claiming people's lives," said Ismail.

"Putco knows about the regulations and they need to get their act together. We can't allow companies to hold [to] ransom our most vulnerable commuters. Some of these people are the poorest of the poor and rely on public transport."

Since January 2007, Putco buses were involved in about 20 accidents that killed over 50 people and injured 580.

Comments
  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-06-27 18:40

    You can have the safest busses in the world. If your drivers are reckless you will have accidents. Driver monitoring devices need to be installed on these busses.

  • rocky.bell.927 - 2012-06-27 18:53

    And the horrendous Griekwastad murders where 3 people were murdered in cold blood are still "under police cover"- 3 months down the line - disgusting.

  • wayne109 - 2012-06-27 19:00

    Driver error , we live in the area and see how these people drive daily , juSt this morning a PuTCO bus stopped at an illegal stop , on Verwoerd rd at the SASOL GARAGE!!!Our maid uses the bus daily and tells us how the drivers "race" each other and over take on solid white lines !!! This is pathetic to think due to one persons STUPIDITY so many peoples lives are now devastaded!!

  • wayne109 - 2012-06-27 19:01

    avatar wayne109 - Just posted Report comment Driver error , we live in the area and see how these people drive daily , juSt this morning a PuTCO bus stopped at an illegal stop , on Verwoerd rd at the SASOL GARAGE!!!Our maid uses the bus daily and tells us how the drivers "race" each other and over take on solid white lines !!! This is pathetic to think due to one persons STUPIDITY so many peoples lives are now devastaded!!

  • Prokid - 2012-06-27 22:08

    may God be with us

  • frans.mosia - 2012-06-28 22:58

    These drivers drive very fast i used to board putco buses from Soweto to Midrand.They do not adhere to speed limit on the road.

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