Probe continues on Skyway bus accident

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04:44 PM July 26th, 2011

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July 26th, 2011 04:44 PM

MANILA, Philippines—The Skyway O&M Corporation (SOMCO) said they have started an investigation into the fatal fall of a passenger bus from the Skyway, on Tuesday morning.

Eduardo Nepomuceno, head of special operations for SOMCO, said in a telephone interview that officials were still investigating if over-speeding, driver’s error or some other factors caused the bus to fall off the Skyway.

Nepomuceno said investigators were no longer able to interview the bus driver who died of his injuries at around 12:40 p.m.  Initial reports said the driver and injured passengers were brought to the Parañaque Medical Center.

“It could be speeding, driver’s error, or perhaps the driver fell asleep and unknowingly stepped on the accelerator. A passenger said the bus was running very fast,” Nepomuceno said in a phone interview.

Nepomuceno said the sides of the Skyway were structurally safe and were built according to international standards and running at a speed of 60 kilometers per hour (kph) would not have made the bus go over the curb and fall off the side.

“The sides of the Skyway should be able to withstand an impact of a vehicle running at 110kph or 120kph. If the bus were running at say, 60 kph, the driver should have been able to recover control in case he swerved toward the side of the road,” he said.

Nepomuceno said that that the SOMCO management would leave the definitive probe to the proper authorities. In the meantime, he said, the affected areas have been cleared of debris.

Initial reports said a Dimple Star Transit bus fell off the Skyway and onto the ground-level service road near Sucat (Km. 19) on Tuesday morning. The debris from the accident was cleared shortly after noon, or around 12:15 p.m., Nepomuceno said.

Nepomuceno called on drivers of public utility vehicles as well as private motorists to be extra cautious when driving on rainy days since visibility could be low and road surfaces could be more slippery. ”

The SOMCO-Skyway management has been getting in touch with the bus company, which would have to shoulder damage to property and compensate the victims of the accident, Nepomuceno said.

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