• Sweden's news in English

Bus crash caused by brake failure: driver

TT/The Local · 29 May 2011, 13:34

Published: 28 May 2011 13:23 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 May 2011 13:34 GMT+02:00

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"It was her view that the bus lurched forward, and when she tried to stop it the brakes didn't work at all," said Maria Eklund at Södermalm police station.

Six people were injured on Saturday when the 15-year-old bus, which had been taken in for repairs earlier in the week, veered off the road and into a square at Slussen in central Stockholm.

The driver lost control of the number 55 bus bound for Sofia as she attempted to pull in at a bus stop. Instead the vehicle rolled down a set of steps and into a crowd of pedestrians at the busy Södermalmstorg square.

”We have lots of witnesses and many of them are very shocked by what they saw,” said police inspector Stefan Färdigs.

One man was seriously injured when the bus careered into the crowded square. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. Five others, including a 17-month-old-child, were treated for minor injuries. The child’s stroller was crushed by the vehicle before the bus came to a halt at the steps leading to the Stockholm City Museum.

A reporter for news agency TT said the square “resembled a war zone” immediately after the accident.

Stockholm’s streets were crowded at the time as people thronged to catch sight of the runners in Saturday’s Stockholm marathon.

Tests showed that the driver was not under the influence of alcohol.

“The bus driver is in shock and was taken to hospital but does not have any physical injuries. She has been driving with us for more than ten years,” said Martin Hägglund at Keolis Sverige, a transport company that operates services for the Stockholm public transport system.

Hägglund said the bus had been in for repairs three days earlier due to a faulty brake pedal.

“But it’s hard to see that there might be a connection with this accident. Buses are regularly taken in for repairs.”

The 15-year-old Scania bus was inspected and serviced in mid-April. It was scheduled to be taken out of service later this year since 15 years is the upper age limit for buses plying routes in the Stockholm region.

Story continues below…

Bengt Bryungs, chair of the transport section at the Swedish Municipal Workers Union (Kommunal), praised Keolis’ track record and said the age of the bus should not matter unduly if the vehicle was well maintained.

“They have a very good service level and a high level of safety. My impression is that they maintain a good standard,” said Bryungs.

A second driver who operated the bus earlier in the day said there had been no problems with the vehicle.

Stockholm police have indicated that they will conduct a full examination of the vehicle and question the driver as they investigate the cause of the accident.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

20:21 May 28, 2011 by muscle
what about the driver?
20:47 May 28, 2011 by krattan
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
22:23 May 28, 2011 by KingArthur
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
22:41 May 28, 2011 by Syftfel
The story does not reveal which route the bus was operating on. Suffice it to say that this accident would not have happened had it been a streetcar. This part of Slussen at one time had fouor streetcar routes, the number 3, 10, 16 and 17. That said, bring back the number "10" streetcar route which operated between Hornsplan and Ropsten!!!
23:24 May 28, 2011 by kasimov
@ krattan, do you really think that only immigrants could make a crash?!
23:38 May 28, 2011 by jayseah32
I think the reporter behind this story only did about half a job on it. A few questions about the driver's condition would have been helpful, and any preconditions that could have contributed to the incident.
23:39 May 28, 2011 by muzmar
@ kratten: shame on u
06:51 May 29, 2011 by RationalG.
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
07:04 May 29, 2011 by graphixperson
@ kratten: Please tell me this attitude isn't common in Sweden. I was looking forward to getting a from the bigotry in the Southern U.S.
07:37 May 29, 2011 by rise
@ graphixperson

"Please tell me this attitude isn't common in Sweden."

It certainly isn't. The driver must've been sick or something - regardless of his nationality..! :P
09:56 May 29, 2011 by krattan
I was merely travesting commentators blaming every problem on immigrants. I would say that the attitude referred is pretty common, on internet forums and among news article commentators where the Swedish art of being politically correct has been scrapped. So, who knows what the Swedes really think? I think in general they are most busy thinking what is "right".
10:58 May 29, 2011 by AbangBeruang
"The bus driver is in shock and was taken to hospital but does not have any physical injuries. She has been driving with us for more than ten years,"

--- Is the identity of the driver relevant here? First of all, its a female driver, so most probably the driver is not an immigrant person. Its an accident, let them find out the reason behind the accident. I am sure the authority will take necessary steps.
12:04 May 29, 2011 by johnny1939
The buss is to old. There is a possibility that the driver could have pushed the wrong pedal but I find it unlikely for an experienced driver(10 years). I feel very sorry for the driver and the people hurt and killed in this accident.
12:21 May 29, 2011 by JulieLou40
@ jonny1939: Nobody has been killed.....why don't you bother reading the story?
12:22 May 29, 2011 by glamelixir
Ok, what exactly are you using as an argument to support the statement of "so most probably the driver is not an immigrant person"? Do you somehow assume that Swedish women are the only ones who know how to drive? haha. OMG, the line of reasoning in this threads is, sometimes, just out of this world.
13:41 May 29, 2011 by Kibiri
^ Its not about knowing how to drive, its about taking employment as a bus driver. If you ride the public transport, you would know that there are almost no immigrant-looking female bus/metro/etc. drivers. Some might be Polish or Finnish immigrants, but they don't qualify into the classic TL "oh those damn immigrants" group afaik.
14:03 May 29, 2011 by muscle
@AbangBeruang Sorry i missed reading that line that she was a female and she was in shock.

Hope she gets well soon. I guess perhaps some malfunctioning in the bus system, you know that hydraulic function, where the bus lowers/tilits at one side near bus stops.
15:22 May 29, 2011 by matona1
@ krattan is having some mental problem
17:12 May 29, 2011 by Rick Methven
I'm just waiting for one of the usual suspects to claim the accident was caused because she was wearing a Burka.
22:19 May 29, 2011 by DAVID T
women drivers - she was probably texting her friends
22:50 May 29, 2011 by NachoMan
The reporter from TT needs some new platitudes.
01:21 May 30, 2011 by glamelixir

I have to disagree with you AGAIN. I have seen women driving buses in Sweden that didn't look scandinavian at all. (Despite the fact that it is not a valid argument for stating if someone is or not scandinavian, but I am replying to you lines of thoughts).

Your theory has no support.
07:57 May 30, 2011 by wabasha
even a reduction of Elk population in Sweden would be blamed on immigrants on the thelocal.se

I wish they would just remove the comment section all together. If people want to rant on and on they should do it in the discuss section.
09:27 May 30, 2011 by karex
A similar accident happened over a year ago in Brazil. The driver said the bus accellerated on its own and the brakes didn't work. They still blamed the driver though, even with several witnesses who were passengers in the bus (one stading directly behind the driver who saw everything he tried to do) backing up the driver's defense - too many big business interests involved... This case in Sweden they were lucky, there were several fatal casualties in the Brazil incident, unfortunately.
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