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By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Staff Reporter
AS THE capital recorded its 15th traffic fatality for the year with the death of a 44-year-old crane operator, traffic investigators are calling on motorists to heed traffic laws.
Shane Harding died of his injuries on impact shortly before 1 am yesterday when the black Ford F-350 he was driving ran into the back of a garbage truck.
Both vehicles were travelling west at the time of the accident on Prince Charles Drive, near the area of Jean Street.
Witnesses described a horror scene. Mr Harding's head was decapitated and one of his hands severed.
Police list the other persons involved -- the passenger of the For ...
A prison officer and a police officer were rushed to hospital yesterday after two prison buses collided with a Mack truck on Eastern Road.
The buses were carrying inmates to downtown courts around 9:45 a.m. when the accident occurred at the entrance of Mount Vernon.
"The extent of their injuries are not known at this time," said Inspector David Lockhart of the traffic division, while on scene.
"All of the inmates are accounted for and we can ensure the public that none of the prisoners at any time escaped, nor was any member of the public in jeopardy as a result of this collision."
Both buses were extensively damaged, police said.
When The Nassau Guardian arrived on scene the buses were being towed by several heavy duty wreckers and a crane.
Lockhart said the prisoners were relocated into three private buses and escorted by police to courts.
He did not confirm the total number of inmates being escorted nor did he provide details on the matters the inmates were connected with.
"We would like to generally say to members of the public, please drive safely and upon hearing a siren one must pull to the left to give way," he said.
Lockhart said police have not determined who was at fault.
He said the driver of the truck was being questioned. Lockhart assured that all standard police protocols were followed.
"We also have one or two witnesses that are assisting in this investigation," Lockhart said.
Last February, the police transport bus crashed into the prison bus when its brakes failed.
Two prisoners and one guard were taken to hospital with minor injuries.
A preliminary investigation into the November 9 crash that killed Pastor Myles Munroe and eight others revealed that the pilot attempted to land the aircraft twice amid deteriorating weather conditions.
The report, released by the Air Accident Investigation and Prevention Unit (AAIPU), provides the first official glimpse into what led to the country's biggest aviation accident since nine men were killed in a crash in Lake Killarney in 2010.
According to the report, as the pilot attempted to find the runway visually, the aircraft struck a crane in the Grand Bahama Shipyard, lost a portion of the right wing and fuel tank and "continued its downward, uncontrolled descent" before it crashed into a mound of garbage.
When the aircraft crashed, it was only 1.9 miles away from Grand Bahama International Airport, according to investigator Delvin Major, who prepared the report.
"The aircraft was unable to land on its first attempt, due to heavy rain showers and reduced visibility," the report said.
"The crew executed a missed approach procedure and continued outbound and entered the published holding pattern at 2,000 feet.
"Some time after entering the holding pattern, Air Traffic Control (ATC) reported the weather as improving and thus a second... approach was requested by the crew and granted by ATC.
"During the return for the second instrument approach, ATC reported the weather as again deteriorating due to rain and haze.
"While attempting to find the runway visually during the second approach, the aircraft descended and subsequently struck a towering crane at the Grand Bahama Shipyard."
The report said the impact occurred with two support beams above the crane operator's cab.
"After losing the outboard portion of the right wing and fuel tank, as a result of the impact, the aircraft continued its downward, uncontrolled descent, crashing inverted into a mound of garbage at the City Services Limited, a garbage and metal recycling plant, which is located adjacent to the Grand Bahama Shipyard," the report said.
"The aircraft finally came to a stop after impact with a metal generator housing unit located at the recycling plant."
The report said the aircraft uploaded 160 gallons of fuel from Odyssey Aviation in New Providence prior to its departure.
Munroe was the founder and president of Bahamas Faith Ministries International (BFMI).
His wife, Pastor Ruth Munroe; BFMI Senior Vice President Dr. Richard Pinder; BFMI Youth Pastors Lavard and Radel Parks and their son, Johannan; American Diego De Santiago; and pilots Stanley Thurston and Frahkan Cooper were all killed in the crash.
The report noted that both pilots were licensed and certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration and both were in possession of valid first class medical certificates as required by regulations.
As for the forecast published by the Bahamas Meteorological Department on the day of the crash, meteorologists warned that "significant weather for all areas indicated a few scattered, scattered to occasional and broken clouds could be expected with ranges from 1,500 feet to tops above 18,000 feet," according to the report.
"Towering cumulus clouds and isolated showers with chances of isolated thundershowers were forecasted with reduced visibility and ceilings below 1,500 feet.
"The report indicated a possibility of heavy showers and moderate to severe turbulence in the vicinity of the towering cumulus clouds."
The AAIPU of the Bahamas Civil Aviation Department is conducting the investigation with assistance from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the USA, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) USA and Bombardier, manufacturer of the aircraft.
The report also noted that the black box has been transported to the NTSB in Washington for a readout.
Aviation and Transport Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin said last week the investigation could take months to complete.
One week after tragedy struck at the Freeport Container Port and left three dead, its executives met in closed sessions yesterday with employees to hear and address their concerns.
It was in keeping with a promise Port Director Godfrey Smith made to several of those who had gathered at the Burger King Restaurant on The Mall Drive last Thursday morning to voice their grievances over safety measures at the port which were highlighted by last Monday's deadly tornado.
The "freak" weather system, which reportedly hit the transshipment site around 11:30 a.m., injured 11 employees, most of them from the Engineering Department reportedly performing work on one of the cranes.