Charge the trucking company for Boksburg explosion deaths, says ATDF-ASA

ATDF-ASA Secretary General Sfiso Nyathi. Picture supplied

All Truck Drivers Foundation Allied South Africa (ATDF-ASA) has called for Infinite Transport to be charged for the death of the 15 people who were killed in the Boksburg gas tanker blast.

ATDF-ASA Secretary General, Sfiso Nyathi said that authorities should leave no stone unturned to expose details of how the horrific incident happened. He said that authorities should investigate the full circumstances leading to the unfortunate incident.

“The driver may have his cases to answer but the company which controls his movements should also face the music. Tanker drivers do not just use any road, they are given a route plan to follow and it cannot be possible that the route passed through Boksburg for someone travelling from Richards Bay to Gaborone in Botswana,” Nyathi told SA Trucker.

“If the driver deviated from his route, the company would have said it already but their silence means he may have been authorised to use his own route,” he added.

“At the end of the day, the company is rich, they will use their financial muscle to deny responsibility and throw the driver under the bus,” he added.

He said that the driver may have made a mistake to attempt to pass a low bridge but looking at the road signage at the bridge, it’s possible he did not see the fading signs.

Nyathi said if the company properly monitored the truck’s movements they would have asked the driver what he was doing on that road, unless if he was authorised to use it.

“So if the company knew or approved his deviation from the route, they are equally responsible for the deaths, injuries and destruction of property. If they didn’t know, then their lapse led to the disaster we face today,” said Nyathi.

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“For long, investigations on serious crashes have only concentrated on the driver’s fault but no one cares to investigate the companies which force the drivers to overwork. This case should be used as an example that if companies don’t monitor their fleet and something like this happens then will pay dearly,” Nyathi added.

SA Trucker approached Infinite Transport for comment but the company referred this reporter to a press statement released two days ago which did not provide answers to the questions asked.

The company could not comment if they knew the position of the driver prior to the fateful incident or if there was any deviation from the route plan. The company could not confirm or deny if the driver was properly trained to transport LPG gas.

The driver’s employer, Innovative Staffing Solutions (ISS) said their driver was properly trained without mentioning if the training was specifically for handling LPG gas. ISS also refused to state when the driver started working at Infinite Transport.