Fri, 03 Mar 2000

Irresponsible bus company

From Bisnis Indonesia

My wife, our three children and I survived an accident on Jan. 12 in which a Muncul bus traveling in the direction of Solo crashed into a truck. Seventeen people died in the crash in Subang, Indramayu, West Java.

We are lucky; we escaped death. However, our 7-year-old child had to be treated at Saint Carolus Hospital in Jakarta for fracture to the front part of his skull.

Test results at the hospital led to our child being operated on as the fracture affected the cerebral membrane. Also, my wife's right leg is swollen to this day from the accident.

Since then I have concentrated fully on the treatment of my child. Costs for 12 days in the hospital reached around Rp 9.5 million, which excludes the cost of the treatment he needed over the following three months.

The costs are quite heavy for our family and we have resorted to taking out loans here and there because payment is required in advance.

I would like to ask readers or any competent party about the responsibility of the bus company for its passengers.

The Jasa Raharja state insurance company has stated we will get Rp 2.5 million. What about the PO Muncul bus company? I have been getting different information from sources.

I can so far conclude that the company has no responsibility for its passengers, other than arranging for claims with Jasa Raharja.

I heard from one of the company employees that the bus we took was an old one and had never been serviced (so it was not fit to operate). As a survivor, I can also testify to the condition of the bus.

It is not fair if the company is not held responsible; its recklessness led to deep trauma for our family, and we are left in the dark as to how much of the medical costs we have to bear by ourselves. Our child did not graduate to the next grade because of his condition.

If indeed there is no responsibility on the part of the bus company for the victims, this must be a terrible precedent.

SUPRIATMO and family

Utan Kayu Selatan

East Jakarta