WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered Scapadas Magicas LLC, a passenger carrier operating in the United States to immediately cease operations, and declared the carrier to be an imminent hazard to public safety.
"Safety is our number one priority, and we will not tolerate unsafe bus companies on our nation's roads," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We will not allow safety to be compromised."
On Feb. 3, 2013, a bus operated by Scapadas Magicas transporting passengers from locations including Tijuana, Mexico on a ski trip to the Southern California area, crashed on a mountain road striking two other vehicles east of San Bernardino. Seven passengers were killed, dozens were injured, and a driver in a separate vehicle was killed.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash, with the assistance of FMCSA and local law enforcement.
"After the tragic crash earlier this week, FMCSA investigators quickly inspected this carrier's other two buses which had been operated on U.S. roads, and immediately shut them down," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "Today, we've officially blocked the company from conducting future operations in the United States."
A post-crash investigation by FMCSA inspectors of Scapadas Magicas' two other motor coaches that had been operating in the U.S. found serious mechanical safety violations, and those buses were immediately placed out-of-service.
FMCSA investigators also found that the company had failed to ensure that its vehicles were systematically inspected, repaired and maintained, and that its drivers were properly qualified and licensed, contrary to information provided by company officials in January 2013.
A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2013/Scapadas-Magicas-IH-Order.PDF.
SOURCE Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration