Mechanical failure, speeding eyed as causes of Florida bus mishap

Report by Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 12 2014 12:06 PM | Updated as of Feb 12 2014 08:06 PM

MANILA -- The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is eyeing mechanical failure and speeding as the possible causes of the accident in Mt. Province last week involving a unit of G.V. Florida Transport Inc.

The LTFRB said the vehicle was speeding. The ill-fated bus also supposedly overheated and suffered faulty brakes, causing it to fall off a ravine and leave 15 people dead, including comedian Arvin "Tado" Jimenez.

Metal skid marks could be seen on the road, a few meters away from the ravine. This is seen as proof that one of bus' tires exploded.

"The bus was speeding on a [downward] slope at tinry pa nung driver na itama ito sa kabilang side pero too late," LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez said.

"Kahit saan mo tingnan ito ay malaking kasalanan din… It is the responsibility of the operator to ensure na road worthy ang sasakyan at drivers are fit to drive."

Because the bus was not registered with the Land Transportation Office, there is no record of its condition before the accident.

G.V. Florida Transport Inc., however, insists that poor road condition is to blame.

"Pabulusok ang kalsada, kurbado, sarado, tapos may nakakalat na buhangin sa concrete portion. Kung kumagat man ang preno hindi na kakagat yung gulong dahil that time mabilis na siya at biglang may kurbada. hindi na nakayanan sa bigat ng bus," said G.V. Florida Transport lawyer Alexander Versoza.

The Philippine Accident Managers Incorporated (PAMI), meanwhile, said the ill-fated bus is not covered by insurance because its license plate number, TXT 872, belongs to another vehicle.

"Iyung na-aksidente hindi tunay na bus registered with the plate number… Hindi naman iyon yung in-insure namin na bus e, so hindi namin babayaran," said PAMI chairman Ed Atayde.

Under the Insurance Law, each fatality should get P150,000 while the injured should get P20,000 each.

Nonetheless, the bus company assured the victims and their families that it will give them financial assistance.

While operations of G.V. Florida Transport Inc. are suspended, its fleet will continue to undergo inspections by the LTO. – with ANC