Bus firm accused of safety breaches
23 May 2006, BRUSSELS — The Belgian company that operated the bus which crashed in Spain on Sunday killing seven people has been accused of regularly breaching safety violations.
23 May 2006
BRUSSELS — The Belgian company that operated the bus which crashed in Spain on Sunday killing seven people has been accused of regularly breaching safety violations.
The Belgian Transport Ministry said on Monday that Sundus Travel is a "problem company". The firm is accused of regularly breaching rest regulations for its drivers.
Ministry officials inspected Sundus Travel on 22 February and instructed the public prosecution to initiate legal proceedings against the firm.
But the public prosecution had not yet responded to the ministry request. The delays means the firm's licence could not have been withdrawn prior to Sunday's tragedy.
Transport Minister Renaat Landuyt will request prosecution authorities to respond in future to concerns more quickly. He will also investigate whether ministry inspectors can be given greater authority.
The technical director of Sundus Travel, Christiane De Coster, has denied there were problems with the company. She said the ministry recently inspected the firm and found that everything was in order.
She said the bus that crashed in Spain underwent a mechanical inspection on 5 May and was granted 6-month road worthiness certificate.
Meanwhile, Spanish police staged a reconstruction of the accident on Monday, reaching a conclusion that human error was to blame for the tragedy.
The bus driver claims the crash was caused by a burst tyre, but police allege the flat tyre was not the cause of the accident and was instead a result of the accident.
It is alleged the bus — the only bus operated by Sundus Travel — ran off the road due to a lapse in concentration from the driver. He will now undergo questioning from the Madrid Court.
Seven victims were killed in the accident on Sunday and 28 were injured. The bus was traveling from Morocco to Brussels when the accident occurred.
Two of the deceased victims have dual Moroccan-Belgian nationality and three of the wounded also have dual nationality.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news