FUNG WAH TROUBLE? GEE, YOU DON'T SAY!
TheBostonChannel.com, January 2007
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - About 30 passengers were taken for quite a ride Wednesday morning when the bus they were riding on lost two wheels on the Massachusetts Turnpike.
NewsCenter 5's Pam Cross reported that the accident was more bad news for the Fung Wah bus company, which was only about 20 miles into its Boston to New York trip when the wheels came off. No one was hurt but investigators want to know what caused the malfunction.
The bus driver told police he felt something in the rear and then pulled over.
"Nothing, this is nothing," the driver said in halting English.
All the passengers were transferred to a second bus.
At the scene, state police officials said bolts appeared to have sheared off the wheels.
Fung Wah has had problems before. A fire on a Connecticut highway in 2005 prompted police to pull over the burning bus. Last September, a Fung Wah bus rolled over in Auburn, Mass. There were no serious injuries but the company was cited because drivers had language issues and had trouble communicating with passengers and state police.
Fung Wah gets high marks for its equipment, however, scoring well in the top 17 percent of a recent federal evaluation. The bus involved in the Framingham incident was headed to the shop for inspections and repairs.
The company was cited for failure to maintain equipment following the incident, which likely means a fine. The violation comes on the heels of recent Team 5 Investigation that uncovered the problem of drivers from Fung Wah and other deep discount bus lines who don't speak English. It's a violation of the law, and could put passengers at risk during emergencies.
State police pulled drivers of the road in November, including one from the Lucky Star bus line.
Last fall Fung Wah was fined $31,000, in part, for this offense.
After the Team 5 investigation, Fung Wah brought in a consultant to make sure the company's 28 drivers understood federal driving laws.
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