Bus crash

37 people injured…

Floris Steenkamp

Walvis Bay’s emergency services were put to the extreme test yesterday morning when a bus carrying 35 construction workers and two security officials overturned on the road towards the salt refinery at 06:45. One worker was seriously injured in the accident whilst several more people were also hospitalised in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund’s private hospitals for various degrees of less serious injuries.

The 34 workers are employed by Neumayer Civil Contractors (Pty) Ltd, the two security officials are employed by Omega Security and an electrical contractor works for Kwena Electric was also on the bus.
Various medical emergency service providers, the traffic departments of both the municipality and Nampol attended to the scene. Some of the injured were transported to Swakopmund, and others were taken to the Welwitschia Private Hospital in Walvis Bay and St. Raphael also in Walvis Bay.
The Neumayer Civil Contractors constructs a new salt washing plant for Walvis Bay Salt Refiners at the salt pans. Construction work has grinded to a total halt as a result of the accident, as the entire construction crew were aboard this ill-fated bus.
Neumayer Civil Contractors (Pty) Ltd’s managing director Mr John Mitchell could not be reached for comment yesterday, as he was traveling from Rosh Pinah to the coast to attend to issues pertaining to the aftermath of the accident.
What Namib Times could establish was that no employees of Walvis Bay Salt Refiners were on the bus. An investigation is now launched into the accident, but the newspaper learnt that speed did not play a role in the accident and the bus carried 37 people and has a capacity for 60 passengers and therefore overloading is also counted out as a factor.
What transpired though is that Walvis Bay Salt Refiners in the recent past directed several letters of complaint to the Roads Authority over the condition of this stretch of road between Walvis Bay and the salt pans. There were numerous requests for the Roads Authority to broaden and resurface the road.
Note: a contractors meeting between Walvis Bay Salt Refiners and Neumayer Construction is scheduled to take place in Walvis Bay early next week to deter-mine how the construction of the wash plant would progress given the current situation.
This morning at around 06:45 the bus used to transport the employees of K Neumayer was involved in an accident inbound to site on the access road. The bus had 37 passengers on it. Two Omega security and one Kwena electrical employees were included in this number and travel on the bus by prior arrangement. The bus is rated to carry 62 passengers.

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