Parents of children living in Limassol’s mountain areas called on Monday for action over the very old buses that take their children to school after a 14-year-old girl was hit on the head by a metal part that fell off an overhead shelf.
The accident occurred on Monday morning when the girl was on the school bus to her high school in Lemythou from Dhoros village where she lives.
According to her father, Andreas Christofi, a metal object fell off one the bus’s overhead shelves when the vehicle made a turn and hit his daughter on the head. The blow caused a trauma to the temple and a head oedema. After going to school, she was transferred by ambulance to the Limassol general hospital where she was kept for precautionary reasons.
Christofi, who is also a member of the school’s parent association, told media on Monday that the object was a spare part that was stored on the overhead shelf.
He said that this was not the first time parents of the area have feared for the safety of their children as the buses are very old.
“We have many problems. There are ancient buses with two-digit licence plates.”
He added that whenever they complain to the competent state authorities, the response they get is that they cannot interfere since the buses have their MOTs.
“We pray each morning for our children to go to school and come back safe,” he said.
On one occasion, he said, the bus broke down and students had to wait an hour and a half in the snow without any heating.
“Many times, they don’t even start and they are looking for electricians at 6am to get them going,” Christofi said.
The head of the parents’ federation Kyriacos Nikiforou, told Alpha TV that despite the repeated complaints, “some fail to take this seriously”.
“These buses are old and have covered millions of kilometres,” Nikiforou said.
He added that they have been calling for the replacement of these buses for a long time stressing that they drive through rain and snow on a challenging road network and they need to transfer students safely.
He said the federation will discuss measures at their next meeting and will insist the buses are replaced by September 1.