Gauteng worried about Putco safety

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IOL news june 25 ST Verwoerd Street Meyerton er24.co.za A fully loaded Putco bus came came off the R59 just before 8am this morning and crashed into a dry stream. At mid morning about 20 passengers were still trapped within as emergency workers slowly cut open the bus. Photo: er24.co.za

The safety of Putco's operations is a source of worry, Gauteng's roads and transport portfolio committee said on Tuesday.

It expressed shock at a bus accident which claimed 19 lives near Meyerton, in the Vaal Triangle, on Monday.

“We are concerned for the commuters using these buses. I can confirm that Putco are on our agenda. The operations at Putco have been on our agenda for a while now,” acting chairwoman Refilwe Mogale said.

On Monday morning, a Putco bus driver lost control of the vehicle and it crashed through the railing of a bridge before plummeting 10 metres to the ground, landing on its side. Fifty-five people were injured, three of them critically. The bus driver was among those killed.

Mogale, members of political parties and other concerned parties intended visiting the crash scene, the injured, and the families of those who died.

“We are starting at the accident scene where we will get an accident report. This report is very important for when we look into Putco and their operations,” she said.

“We will then go to the various hospitals to provide support to the victims. We are in the process of making arrangements to visit the families of the deceased.”

Gauteng safety and security spokesman Thapelo Moiloa said MEC Faith Mazibuko would visit the injured during the week.

“Right now we are still trying to link up with the hospital in order to arrange the visit,” he said.

“Due to the extent of some of the injuries the (death) toll might go up. It is not something we want, but it is a possibility.”

Transport Minister Ben Martins has urged the authorities to investigate all possible reasons for the accident.

“No effort should be spared in determining the cause of this horrific incident,” he said after visiting the accident scene on Monday afternoon.

“Road traffic management authorities must leave no stone unturned in their probe.”

Martins urged Putco to work with the authorities to expedite the investigation into the cause of the crash.

On Monday, Putco spokesman Raphiri Matsaneng said the bus which crashed passed a roadworthy test on June 14.

Passengers told Beeld newspaper the driver had been speeding. – Sapa


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