A Japanese Bus Crashes and Partially Demolishes a Building in Central Havana

The bus crashed into the column of one of the buildings in the Havana neighborhood. (Yayi Ruiz)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 17 June 2022 — A public transport bus collided with a column of a building between Monte and the corner of San Nicolás, in Centro Habana, this Thursday afternoon. According to witnesses to the event, to whom journalist Mario J. Pentón had access, the accident left no injuries. The cause of the collision, the same sources reported, was that the driver lost control of the vehicle while trying to avoid a motorcycle.

In videos shared by Pentón, who is based in Miami, it was observed that, after the crash, the passengers got off the bus among the large rocks of debris from the Havana building, which fell on the road. Another part of the building’s remains fell on the roof of the bus.

“It’s one of the new buses,” one of the women who watched the accident of bus 8414 in astonishment the  is heard saying. It is one of the 84 that Japan donated to Cuba in January of this year, which were added to the impoverished fleet of Havana buses.

The donation was worth about 9 million dollars, according to official documents, and belongs to the economic and social development program of “non-reimbursable financial aid,” one of the sections of the agreements that Tokyo has with Havana since 1961.

Although the vehicles, of the Isuzu brand, arrived from Colombia, where they were assembled, on January 9, they did not start operating through the Cuban capital until three weeks later.

“They are good but I don’t know how long they are going to last here,” explained the driver of one of these buses to a passenger who inquired about the novelty in early February. Before six months, several have already crashed, according to Havanans who reacted to the accident this Thursday.

Bus accidents have added to the public transportation problem that was aggravated by the fuel shortage. In April, the general director of transport, Leandro Méndez Peña, admitted that only 45.7% of the buses were available, which means that there are more out of service than circulating on the streets.


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