WATCH | Six injured as bus smash through building

Scores of injuries and even potential deaths were narrowly avoided when a bus careened off a Port Elizabeth highway and smashed through the brick wall of a building occupied by a light industrial business. Full story here: www.heraldlive.co.za/news/2018-08-10-watch--six-injured-in-settlers-way-bus-accident/

Scores of injuries and even potential deaths were narrowly avoided early on Friday when a bus careened off a Port Elizabeth highway and smashed through the brick wall of a building occupied by a light industrial business.

Police said two other vehicles had collided with the bus – which was not carrying passengers – after it swerved into their path.

No deaths were recorded, but six people were injured when the Algoa Bus Company bus crashed a few metres from the edge of Settlers Way highway between the Darling Street and Algoa Street on-ramps in the Sydenham area.

The accident took place at 6.53am, in extremely wet weather and shortly before companies in the area, including Transform Electrical into which the bus had smashed, opened for their staff and business for the day.

Narrowly missing a large tree, the bus smashed through a thick wall and came to a standstill on top of scores of electrical cables which were stored about a half a metre below ground level.

While both the bus and the building incurred extensive damage – with the building’s roof struts and beams ripped through by the bus, leaving the remainder of the roof in serious danger of collapse – the bus’s two front tyres were surprisingly still intact.

This helped a heavy-duty vehicle recovery truck to winch the bus from the building with relative ease.

Police and traffic officials were present at the scene and were forced to close off sections of the highway and the onramp while the bus was being extricated from the building.

This caused heavy traffic congestion in the immediate vicinity.

 

CCTV footage of the accident shows a bakkie at a standstill on the highway after it apparently aquaplaned in the wet weather.

The bus, along with a minibus taxi and a small Chevrolet Spark, is seen encountering the static bakkie and the bus then swerves dramatically towards the left, with the Spark caught on the inside of the bus’s sudden swerve.

The bus then smashs through the wall and comes to a standstill with at least a quarter of the bus’s length inside the building.

Transform Electrical manager Mike Murphy and his daughter Lesley – who was on her way to the business when the accident occurred, agreed that it was very fortunate that it happened before staff arrived at the premises.

“If this had taken place a little later, there would have been staff in the area where the bus smashed through. As it is, we are relieved there weren’t any fatalities among those directly involved in the accident,” Lesley, who is also employed by the company, said.

The manager said the building was rented by the business and that it had been forced to remove all of its cables and other materials to store elsewhere as a result of the crash.

“It was quite a shock. Nothing like this has happened here before,” he said, adding that the company had been based there for the past 22 years.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Alwin Labans confirmed that six people had been injured.

He said information that police had gathered at the scene showed the accident had been caused by a Toyota Hilux bakkie “on the wrong side of the road”.

“The bus driver, along with a driver from another vehicle and four passengers were injured,” he said.

Algoa Bus Company or senior management could not be reached for comment late on Friday. 

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