Moroccan death coach unlicensed for passengers

25th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, June 24 (AFP) - A Moroccan bus company involved in a crash in France that killed 11 people was not licensed to carry passengers, Belgian authorities said Thursday.

BRUSSELS, June 24 (AFP) - A Moroccan bus company involved in a crash in France that killed 11 people was not licensed to carry passengers, Belgian authorities said Thursday.

In addition to the dead, 12 people were seriously injured in the accident which occurred near the town of Liguge, just south of Poitiers, late Tuesday. All were believed to be of Moroccan origin living in Belgium.

The Kabbour company, which operated the bus heading from Belgium to Morocco, "hasn't applied for the necessary licence", an aide to Belgian Transport Minister Bert Anciaux told AFP.

The company had already come to the attention of Belgian authorities two months ago, when one of its drivers was stopped and had to pay a fine for lacking the permit, said the aide, Frank Van Thillo.

The problem of unlicensed coach firms taking passengers from Belgium to Morocco was well-known to the authorities and had been the subject of talks between Brussels and Rabat, he added.

Van Thillo said a dozen companies legally operated the lengthy route, including three Moroccan ones.

The Poitiers crash dominated Thursday's front-pages of Belgian newspapers, which attacked "pirates of the road" who undercut legitimate bus operators by flouting safety standards.

There were contradictory reports about the reasons for the crash, which occurred during a storm. Some said the luggage trailer was too full, while others said the driver had been speeding.

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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