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Maxi with 19 children in Bus Route accident

Friday, February 26, 2016

Nineteen children were involved in a mid-morning accident involving two maxi taxis on the Priority Bus Route in Tunapuna. Luckily, none of them were severely  injured.

Children, sitting on mats, at the side of the road as the police and EMTs assist them. Photo: Rachael Espinet

Around 9.30 am, Keelan Joseph was driving his 24-seater maxi in an easterly direction when he stopped by the steps at the tunnel to pick up a passenger. As the woman was walking to get her seat, Joseph’s maxi was struck by another maxi taxi. 

Keelan Joseph's maxi. Photo: Rachael Espinet

Richard Harnarine, from Cunupia, also driving a 24-seater maxi, was carrying 19 students from D&D Educational Centre in St Joseph. Harnarine hit Joseph’s maxi in the rear, shattering the back glass. Joseph’s maxi had only eight passengers and no one was sitting in the back at the time. 

Richard Harnarine leans up on his maxi as he waits for the police to speak to him. Photo: Rachael Espinet

Within minutes of the accident, members of the Fire Service, the Police Service and the Prison Service were on the scene to assist. 

Fire and police officers on the site of the accident. Photo: Rachael Espinet

T&T Guardian understands that the people who saw the accident were able to help get the children out of the maxi. 

The children sat at the side of the road while the emergency medical technicians (EMT) assessed them. While the children appeared visibly shaken and scared, none of them sustained major injuries. One girl, however, said her arm was hurting. The EMTs wrapped the arm in a makeshift sling using a towel and took her off to the hospital in an ambulance.

EMTs assist this girl who complained about shoulder pains. She was taken to the hospital by an ambulance. Photo: Rachael Espinet

The woman who was boarding Joseph’s maxi was reported to be the only person severly injured, and she was taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mount Hope.

Joseph said the woman was unable to move and other passengers had to carry her out of the maxi. 

Eighteen of the children were placed into the prison’s bus and taken to Mount Hope. 

However, one boy was crying, saying, “I don’t want to get into a bus again.”

Teachers and officers help the children into the Prison Service bus which took them to the hospital. Photo: Rachael Espinet

Harnarine was also taken to Mount Hope in an ambulance after he spoke with the police and fire officers. 

Investigations continue.