By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Two accidents, both crashes of BRT buses in Rio’s Zona Oeste (West Zone), have left more than 130 people injured this morning (January 13th). The accidents are part of a series of public transport incidents in the last weeks and of an unfortunate history of accidents with the BRT.
The first accident occurred when two BRT buses crashed in the West Zone’s main street Avenida das Americas early this morning. Firemen rushed to the scene, which happened in direction of the Alvorada terminal around the Pontal bus stop in Recreio. They reported around sixty injured passengers.
The second accident only happened thirty minutes later in the same street, also concerning the Transoeste BRT line. It was another crash of two BRT vehicles, near the Cetex station in Guaratiba, and left around seventy people injured. Passengers of this composition have stated that the driver was arguing on his cellphone when the crash happened.
After the crashes the BRT lane had to be closed in the locales of the incidents, but BRT buses in the area are diverting to the normal lanes and traffic has reportedly gone back to normal.
Only last week several accidents in the SuperVia trains had made the headlines. The worst incident left around 229 people injured, when a train crushed into another one at the Presidente Juscelino station in Mesquita, a town in the Baixada Fluminense, on January 5th. The motorman of the second composition reported to have received authorization to run a light and crashed into the train standing in the station.
The case is currently being investigated, but Secretary of Transport Carlos Roberto Osório has already announced that the SuperVia will be fined. “This was a really serious accident and the failure is just unacceptable. This can’t happen,” Osório stated.