Police are looking for witnesses of a bus crash on the outskirt of Prague
on Friday, in which three people died and 45 others were injured. The
incident happened at around 4 p.m. on Friday in a small town of
Horoměřice northwest of Prague. The bus collided with a car and skidded
off the road, smashing into a tree.
Several people were rushed into hospital in a serious condition, including two children who sustained major head injuries and had to be placed into artificial comas. The driver of the car and two bus passengers were killed in the incident. Rescue workers had to free passengers who were trapped inside the bus.
Last year saw the lowest number of road fatalities in the Czech Republic
since 1961, when the police began tracking the statistic.
The head of the Traffic Police Tomáš Lerch confirmed on Friday that last year saw 502 fatal road accidents, 43 fewer than the previous year. 2017 saw more traffic accidents in total: 103,821 – up by 4,957.
There will be no change to a directive by the
former Social Democrat-led government which boosted the minimum wage for
fixed-route bus drivers, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš confirmed in a tweet
Funds for wages will be the responsibility of the regions, he also confirmed, after meeting with the chairwoman of the Association of Regions of the Czech Republic and fellow ANO party member Jana Vildumetzová and Transport Union head Luboš Pombík.
The regions had been asking the government for four billion crowns in funds to cover wages as well as local road repairs. After the meeting, the prime minister confirmed that the government would look for funds for the repairs of secondary and tertiary roads.
Passengers on Prague’s public transport system may find these days that they are waiting longer than usual for trams, buses and underground trains. Operators say they have been forced to launch a short-term reduced service as – with worker shortages hitting many sectors – they simply cannot find sufficient drivers.
The government has replaced most of the members of the Czech Railways’
Steering Committee and one of the seven members of the Board of Directors
of the Railway Infrastructure Administration, according to a press release
from the Ministry of Transport released on Friday.
Deputy Transport Minister Ladislav Němec has been newly appointed to both of the bodies. The Board of Directors of the Railway Infrastructure Administration, among other things, appoints the members of the organisation, including its Chief Executive Officer.
The regional court in Nový Jičín has acquitted all 10 people standing
trial in the case of a collapsed bridge in Studénka which caused a serious
train crash in 2008. The bridge collapsed just minutes before a passenger
train ploughed into the debris. Eight people died in the accident, dozens
of others were injured and the damage amounted to around 180 million
The judge ruled that since experts were unable to say what exactly caused the bridge to collapse he could not attach the blame to any given person. Those charged in the case include civil engineers from the firm contracted with the renovation of the bridge. Families of the victims have expressed deep disappointment over the verdict.
Snow and ice have caused chaos on Czech roads on Thursday. Fire services
have also been called out across the country to deal with fallen trees
prompted by the snowfall.
In south Moravia police reported around three dozen accidents on roads. Most major roads were said to be open although motorists faced problems on higher ground. Warnings have been issued that temperatures could drop to minus 10 degrees Celsius over the weekend.
The Czech Republic is considering drawing on funds from the European
Investment Bank (EIB) to help develop its transport infrastructure.
Deputy minister Tomáš Čoček said a loan of around 100 million crowns could be sought which would be divided between road and rail projects.
He said the loan could replace a shortfall in state funds and be possibly cheaper than using state bonds to finance such development.