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Brakes not to blame for fatal crash that took four lives in Eastern Finland

According to the Safety Investigation Authority, the brakes of the bus involved in the fatal bus crash in eastern Finland on Friday that took four lives were not defective.

Turmabussi tuotiin tutkittavaksi Kuopiossa lauantaina.
Kuopio crash bus being examined Image: Hannu Rainamo / Lehtikuva

Finland's Safety Investigation Authority (Otke) says it has completed a technical investigation of the brakes in a bus involved in a fatal crash that claimed four lives in eastern Finland on Friday.

The agency issued a press release on Saturday night saying that no fault was found in the brakes that would have prevented them from working properly.

Previously, the driver of the bus had said that the brakes failed while the bus was ascending a ramp in Kuopio, causing him to lose control. The bus then ploughed through five cars before plunging off an overpass and landed on a train track below the roadway.

”We have thoroughly examined the bus using diagnostics that read the brake data,” Otke’s head researcher Kai Valonen told Yle.

”Based on this, we’ve reached the conclusion that there wasn’t anything wrong with the brakes,” Valonen added.

The bus driver was also questioned again on Saturday, but this time was unable to recall the exact course of events. He had previously stated that the brake failure caused him to drive off the road; he no longer said that that was the case.

Bus recently inspected

According to Valonen, the 13-year-old bus was in very good condition. It had been driven about 800,000 kilometres, which is normal for a bus.

It had recently been through a routine scheduled inspection in March 2018.

”For example, it was noted that the tyres were in good shape, and regular maintenance was carried out [on the bus at the time],” Valonen pointed out.

In the upcoming days the investigation into the accident will continue with officials gathering survivors' accounts of the events, and an inspection of the bus’s tachograph, the device which records the vehicle’s speed and distance together with the driver’s activity.

Otke said the goal is to conclude the accident investigation within six months.

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