By Kaya 959 News
A special task team has been set up to investigate a road crash that claimed the lives of six people in Tshwane last month.
Six commuters were burnt to death in a Putco bus fire in Moloto Road. They were burnt beyond recognition. The bus had been travelling from Marabastad to Tweefontein when it caught alight. Two patients remain in hospital.
Preliminary reports allege that the bus caught fire. At least 50 people managed to escape the blaze.
At the weekend, authorities revealed that the task team will probe the cause of the bus fire.
The team will be led by Advocate Myron Dewrance and has a month to complete the investigation.
Gauteng Transport MEC, Richard Mamabolo, said the team will include experts on fire detection and fire prevention.
“The team will deal with the root cause and look into the circumstances around the fire and if there is any liability on the part of Putco,” he said.
Mamabolo said the team will also come up with a list of recommendations to prevent similar incidents in future.
Putco meets with families
Last week, Putco management met with the families of the deceased.
Mpumalanga Premier, Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane, along with MEC for Community Safety, Security and Liaison Vusi Shongwe, Nkangala District Municipality mayor Sarah Masilela and Thembisile Hani Local Municipality mayor Nomsa Mtsweni were locked in a six-hour meeting with the families.
Speaking during the meeting, Mtshweni-Tsipane said it was important for the bus company to take responsibility for the tragedy and do right by the families.
“Those people who died are residents of Mpumalanga province, they were bread winners mostly women. Most importantly they were mothers who had no choice but to board that bus in order to put food on the table for their children,” she said.
The Premier said they had an obligation as public representatives to make sure that those women’s dreams for their children are fulfilled.
The bus company has agreed to:
– A contribution of R100 000.00 towards funeral expenses per family.
– Putco to replace the earnings of the deceased and the injured with a monthly minimum contribution of R 10 000 per family pending finalisation of Road Accident Fund processes or the payment from the public liability insurance fund.
– Four critically injured commuters to be transferred to Milpark private hospital with full medical expenses amounting to R1million per patient to be incurred by Putco, in accordance with their policy provisions.
– All commuters who were involved in the incident receive post-accident trauma counselling provided by Putco. This counselling will also be provided for the immediate families of the commuters with bi-annual reports to be submitted to Mpumalanga and Gauteng provincial governments.
– Putco shall assist all the families with Road Accident Fund or Public Liability Insurance applications.
– Putco provides two buses per family for the funerals.
– Putco to consider employment opportunities for one family member for each of the deceased families.
– Provincial government has committed to appoint an independent private forensic investigator within the next 14 days.
– Provincial government will also appoint an independent actuaries to determine the value of prospective financial loss.
Putco has already provided trauma counselling to commuters.