JUTC says it has uncovered 'deliberate attempts at sabotage'
In this December 2017 file photo, JUTC managing director Paul Abrahams (centre) addresses journalists at a press conference. Seated to his left is then Transport Minister Mike Henry.
The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) is reporting that it has uncovered what appears to be deliberate attempts to sabotage the operations of the state-run company.
It said such attempts at sabotage may have been the cause of two of three recent fires on its buses. The extent of the sabotage that has been uncovered may have put passengers’ lives at risk, said the JUTC.
According to the company, it has “found some startling bit of information,” since it launched its probe into the fires two weeks ago, in the process unearthing what it has described as “substandard workmanship which may have caused two of the three fires.”
“It appears there are efforts to undermine the operations of the bus company; both internal and external. This includes attack on members of staff and its assets,” said managing director of the JUTC Paul Abrahams in a statement.
Abrahams said: “During preventative fire checks these past two weekends, we have found instances of serious breaches including but not limited to; fuel line being too loose beside a turbo, and a rag that was used to tie a hydraulic line among other displaced connections in the engine.
“These breaches can cause spontaneous combustion when in operation mode and may have prompted at least two of the three fires. We are taking a zero tolerance approach to the recent fires and have warned personnel that there should be no recurrence.”
The managing director has sought to assure that since the recent fires, greater focus is being placed on quality maintenance of all units and a fire prevention team has since been formed.
“The main objective of this team is to ensure that all units are up to safety standards for the commuting public and that all procedures are adhered to,” Abrahams said.
He said the fire team will report each week on the faults it has found and the corrective measures that have been taken. A fire prevention checklist has also been developed and the staff has been given refresher fire prevention training, in addition to the regular maintenance programme in effect.
Abrahams also said administrative sanctions, following due process, will be brought to bear on those found to be responsible for poor workmanship. He said the investigations are ongoing.
Meanwhile, the management of the JUTC is appealing to members of the public to report any infractions by its staff or the public, to include but not limited to stone throwing incidents, bus fires, and or customer service issues. The public may call toll free 876. 888.588.2287, whatsApp 876.570.1789 or use the social media platforms - @jutcltd for twitter and www.facebook.com/jutcltd.