One of a number of popular yellow commercial buses, dubbed “Killer Bean,” early Monday was gutted by fire after experiencing brake failure and colliding with another vehicle, leaving several people wounded.
The unfortunate incident took place adjacent Access Bank, at the intersection of Johnson and Ashmun Streets, in central Monrovia. The incident brought central Monrovia to a complete standstill, with many condemning Government’s inability to do proper inspection on vehicles that are plying the streets.
The bus, with license plate B-30284 and which had no passenger on board, ran into another bus, setting it ablaze. This left four persons, who were occupants of the other vehicle, with minor injuries. Some of the injured were immediately rushed to nearby clinics. The driver attempted to flee the scene but was prevented from doing so by a large crowd which overpowered him.
The blaze did not totally destroy the bus, thanks to a swift intervention by fire fighters from the Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS). The LNFS fire fighters were instrumental in quenching the fire.
“We are grateful to God for this swift intervention by the fire fighters; it would have been worse if they had not come on time,” Richard Thompson, an eye witness, said.
Thompson noted that the prompt action of the LNFS really helped to save other properties nearby that would have been affected. He said everyone was shocked when the incident was taking place. “It was like a movie and we could not believe what was happening,” he said.
“The bus experienced brake failure and the driver ran off the road. And so everyone started running here, there and yonder. This situation created panic among all the people here and it was scaring,” Thompson noted.
Another eyewitness, Tetee Tehmeh, blamed the government, especially the Liberia National Police (LNP), for such frightening incidents in the country, especially in Monrovia.
“The police officers are not properly inspecting these vehicles that are plying our streets; this is very unfortunate for us. We see how containers have been killing people in this country. We have to change the way we do things here if we want to protect our people,” Ms. Tehmeh said.
Some eyewitnesses said they noticed that the bus did not have a fuel/gas tank and that the driver had the fuel gallon situated right behind him.
The driver of the bus, Armah Kenneh (age 35), was left dumbfounded following the incident. His only option was to flee the vehicle, after he realized brake failure and noticed smoke rising from the engine. The bus is said to be owned by one Sekou Kanneh. Up to press time, no report of human casualty was reported.
The yellow buses are commonly called “Killer Bean” because drivers of such commercial vehicles are known to be reckless and arrogant.