INVESTIGATIONS into the cause of the accident involving a Scania Marcopolo bus that recently claimed 14 lives after it plunged into a gorge at Luangwa bridge has revealed that the vehicle was not in road worthy condition.
Police spokesperson Charity Munganga Chanda said in a statement yesterday that evidence recorded from passengers indicated that the driver had difficulties with the braking system and the bus stopped frequently because it was overheating.
“Our investigations have revealed that the bus was being driven in a dangerous condition. This is evidenced from the testimonies that we recorded from the surviving passengers who indicated that the driver had difficulties with the braking system and that they made stops on the way because the vehicle was boiling,” she said.
The bus registration No. ABA 4611 belonging to Ronsil Transport plunged into the gorge at Luangwa Bridge along the Great East road on November 30 instantly killing 14 on the spot.
Among the dead were six females and eight males who included the driver.
Ms Chanda said the bus whose seating capacity is 60 passengers was overloaded by over five passengers.
“This does not include the five infants, who according to Section 166 (ii) of the Road Traffic Act No. 11 of 2002 which states that children under the age of four years are not considered as passengers and that two children of apparent age or over four years but below eight years are considered as one passenger.
“Four of the children were below four while one was four years old and as such they do not qualify to be counted as passengers. Therefore, the bus was overloaded by five passengers,” she said.
And Ms. Chanda has disclosed that four male bodies were still lying in the UTH mortuary awaiting identification.
She said the other 10 people that perished have been buried after postmortem examinations were concluded.
Ms Chanda thanked members of the public for the assistance they rendered to the injured during and after the accident.