Jan 25, Colombo: Cabinet Spokesman, Minister of Mass Media, Transport and Highways Dr. Bandula Gunawardena said that President Ranil Wickremesinghe instructed the Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha to give immediate compensation to the families of the people who lost their lives in the road accident in Nanu Oya Radella area.
Accordingly, Mr. Gunawardena said that the Minister of Education informed the Cabinet that he had discussed with organizations including alumni of Thurston College and that steps will be taken to provide compensation as soon as possible.
The Minister said that the number of passengers that can travel in a bus is determined by the National Transport Commission and accordingly a committee was appointed to make recommendations to prevent such accidents in the future.
He said that this committee has been appointed under the chairmanship of former DIG Sumith Nishanka, chairman of the Institute of Road Safety, and he has informed the committee to submit a report containing their recommendations as soon as possible.
Dr. H.R. Pasindu of the University of Moratuwa, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Traffic) Indika Hapugoda, Deputy Director of School Affairs of the Ministry of Education Sriyani Hevage, Traffic Commissioner (Development) of the Department of Motor Vehicles D. Kusalani de Silva, Director of the National Transport Commission, Shereen Athukorala are the other members of the committee.
Seven people lost their lives when a bus carrying a group of Grade 11 students of Colombo Thurston College and returning to Colombo after a trip collided head-on with a van and a three wheeler on the Nanu Oya- Radella shortcut road and plunged 40 feet into a precipice on Friday night.
Six people in the van and the driver of the three wheeler died in the accident while the passengers of the bus including 47 students sustained injuries.