NTSB finds bus company at fault in explosion during Hurricane Rita

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The National Transportation Safety Board has ruled that the motorcoach company and a faulty federal compliance review system were responsible for a bus explosion that killed 23 assisted living residents who were fleeing Hurricane Rita on Sept. 23, 2005.

The agency cleared Sunrise Senior Living Inc., of blame related to the accident. Instead, NTSBS determined that Global Limo failed to conduct proper vehicle maintenance, to do pre-trip inspections and to complete post-trip driver vehicle inspection reports. Also, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's ineffective compliance review system resulted in inadequate safety oversight of passenger motor carriers, the NTSB said.

Last year, the owner of the bus company, James Maples, was found guilty of maintenance and inspection charges. Global Limo Inc. was convicted of failing to maintain its buses and follow inspection regulations. The explosion occurred near Wilmer, TX.

To learn more, go to http://www.ntsb.gov/events/Boardmeeting.htm. Scroll down to the the Feb. 21 meeting.