Was it 'freak accident' or neglect of duties?

I do not quite agree with the report (SBS Transit bus hit by pipe in freak accident, Jan 3).

The report stated that a loose PVC pipe, blown by the wind, crashed into and smashed the window of an SBS bus.

Increasingly, I notice a tendency to explain away incidents such as this as "freak" accidents.

Clearly the incident was caused by a loose PVC pipe which had been left about as a result of improper handling, transportation or stowage.

I believe that dismissing it as a "freak accident" absolves the people responsible for it and leads to condoning improper work standards. No accident should be labelled conclusively or merely as a "freak" accident if it stemmed from neglect of responsibility.

The media too should not report with an intent to placate readers that "freak" accidents happen. Such accidents are just not investigated thoroughly for want of the able or qualified.

Joe Tay

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2019, with the headline 'Was it 'freak accident' or neglect of duties?'. Print Edition | Subscribe