The remains of the minivan that plunged into the sea at Rock Gutter. (Photo: Facebook)

A new school bus has been ordered to transport secondary school students to and from Fancy, replacing the privately owned minivan that was destroyed when it plunged into the sea on Jan. 12, killing several students and injuring others.

The bus was ordered in the wake of the Rock Gutter tragedy, where five students died and two are missing at sea and presumed dead after the minivan careened off a hill and landing in the sea.

“We have made arrangements for a lovely vehicle. We’ve ordered a replacement vehicle, a 30-seater. It should be coming in from Barbados in about three, four weeks time,” Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said on Tuesday.

He said the bus costs nearly EC$250,000 duty free.

“We have paid 200 thousand dollars already. The Mustique Company — I requested assistance from them in this regard, because they had made a promise — they sent a cheque of 100 thousand dollars, and because of the speed that was required, I had PetroCaribe put 50 thousand dollars and the National Lottery 50 thousand dollars. So that money is already paid for that,” he said.

Coreas Hazells Inc. has given an EC$15,000 discount on the vehicle.

Lavinia Gunn, administrator of the Mustique Charitable Trust hands over a cheque for EC$100,000 towards the purchase of a school bus to Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.
Lavinia Gunn, administrator of the Mustique Charitable Trust hands over a cheque for EC$100,000 towards the purchase of a school bus to Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.

“So all that remains for my office to pay is the balance of the money, which is not a great deal, and the insurance,” said Gonsalves who is also Minister of Finance.

He said Montgomery Daniel, MP for North Windward where Rock Gutter and Fancy are located, is looking at a number of different names “from which we will select a very mature driver.

“The bus is air-conditioned. It is, as I say, a 30-seater. And I have seen the specifications. It has leather covering on the seats. It seems as though out of this — I don’t know whether the children from North Central and those from North Leeward, because those are distant places, are going to come to me for air-conditioned buses with leather seats,” Gonsalves said.

He said that as of last Monday, Daniel had made arrangements for a bus to take the students to school, temporarily.

“I want to say this so that you can appreciate that amidst the healing, we are addressing all the practical concerns,” Gonsalves said.

8 replies on “Gov’t orders school bus for Fancy after Rock Gutter tragedy”

  1. You can try as much as possible to revived the politically dying the Montgomery Daniel but its a waste of time. It will take [a lot more] to put back life into an already dead being. He Will Not Make it PM not this time. Your government is going through its last phase. The people of Fancy and surrounding areas know he did very little so you can say Gomery say this and Gomery do that they will not buy it.

  2. Shame on you, sir, for bragging about not being able to buy this bus for cash at the drop of a hat from discretionary government funds after over 13 years of power. Just another sign that the government is dead broke.

  3. Are you two [ jokers] saying that the bus isn’t needed. why didnt you put your hand in your pocket and buying the bus so that it couldn’t be a political bribe according to you guys. It is sad to read your empty words. You sound like the Republicans in the USA. The bible says we need to comfort those that mourn.

  4. C. ben…I think u should sit your ass down and shut up. And that goes to u too urlarex. please ppl are mourning and all u guys can do is picking on the Pm..

  5. Ben I agree with you..A tragedy should not have to occur for the government to know that those areas need school buses to transport the kids to school… The government have an obligation to provide buses to those areas leeward and country as well..its a shame that people have to loose their lives for this to be noticed..R.I.P to all the victims…My Condolence to all the families may God continue to heal and bring comfort to you all…

  6. Buses are needed for North Leeward also. The roads there are just as dangerous, but then again that’s not a ULP favourite constituency. This is why many people have doubts about any action Ralph takes. All actions must cover other areas, so it doesn’t appear to be a dishonest move.

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