Falealili bus lost control, says passenger

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 02 October 2023, 10:26AM

A passenger on a Falealili bus that crashed in Malifa Monday morning says the wooden bus started losing control from Papauta and eventually crashed and hit a Hyundai Tucson. 

Iosua Nouata is lucky to have only sustained minor injuries and was treated at the national hospital at Moto'otua with more than 30 other passengers. 

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, the Pacific Forum Line (PFL) employee said five women, one elderly man and a boy are in critical condition.

He confirmed the bus driver was also being treated in the other ward of the hospital and added that all the seats on the bus were occupied and a few stood inside the bus all the way from Falealili. 

Mr. Nouata claimed that the bus' brakes broke when it got to Papauta and from there the bus picked up speed as it went down.

"From there the bus was picking up speed and the brakes weren't working," he said. "We continued to accelerate down and just before we got to the Malifa four corner, I believe the bus driver saw a lot of vehicles there and then decided to swirl on the side which led to crashing into the other small car...no one died at the scene but we have others seriously injured." 

The passenger alleged the bus has had engine problems for the past five weeks with the driver allegedly using the hand brake since then to stop the bus. 

When this newspaper got to the scene, the bits and pieces of the bus' engine were scattered around at the scene, just in front of Phat Burgers at Malifa. 

A student in school uniform was seen with his shoulder strapped and walking out of the hospital. Other passengers are still waiting to be checked. 

Relatives of the passengers rushed to the hospital to check the status of their loved ones. 

The incident occurred before 8 am Monday morning. The passenger in the Hyundai Tucson was a woman who was making her way to do shopping when the bus hit her car. She was taken to the hospital together with other passengers. 

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 02 October 2023, 10:26AM
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