19 bodies lay side by side at the scene of the horific bus accident which happened early yesterday morning on the R59 highway off ramp near Meyerton. Picture: Antoine de Ras, 25/06/2012

Johannesburg - Preliminary investigations show that the bus involved in an accident which claimed 19 lives in Meyerton failed a roadworthiness test, the Sedibeng Municipality said on Friday.

“That bus was pulled off the road on the 12th of June by a traffic officer who sent it for testing at the Meyerton testing station - and it failed,” spokesman Dan Manoeli said.

“It failed due to a faulty braking system... Two days ago that same bus passed a roadworthy test at the Putco private vehicle testing station. How did that happen? It is very weird - by us it failed, by them it passed.”

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 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.

Manoeli said investigations by the municipality were still ongoing.

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

Putco spokesman Raphiri Matsaneng denied the claims and said they would issue a full statement after 3pm on Friday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said on Friday that the preliminary report on the cause of a bus accident was not ready.

“Investigations are ongoing and therefore the report would not be released today (Friday) as initially thought,” spokesman Ashref Ismail said.

“We need to investigate not only the crash but the contradictory reports regarding the roadworthy tests conducted. We need to be clear about the dates and the outcomes; we need to look at all of the issues surrounding the crash.”

Ismail said the report was expected to be completed next week, when it would be handed over to the minister of transport. - Sapa