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Craig Cherry
Craig Cherry
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NTSB: Government Partly To Blame For Deaths Of Bus Passengers

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) ruled that a lack of oversight by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was partly to blame for the deaths of 23 bus passengers that occurred on September 23, 2005 near Dallas, Texas.

The bus, operated by Global Limo Inc., was carrying passengers who were fleeing the Texas Gulf Coast due to approaching Hurricane Rita. A rear wheel of the bus caught fire on a freeway near Dallas and within minutes the vehicle was engulfed in flames and smoke.

While the NTSB ruled that lack of oil in a wheel assembly probably caused the fire, the board said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was responsible as well because it has done a poor job making sure bus companies are safe. Federal regulators shut down Global Limo, Inc. weeks after the accident and its owner, James Maples, was later convicted of maintenance and inspection charges.

Victims and relatives of victims reached an $11 million settlement in May with Global Limo and BusBank, the travel broker that hired it.