Authorities here have deployed officers of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Liberia National Police on the Somalia Drive after rioters reportedly burnt a 97 – seated commercial bus that reportedly killed a motorcyclist on Monday, 3 July.
The bus is alleged to have been burnt by individuals believed to be motorcyclists, in apparent retaliation to the alleged killing of their fellow motorcyclist. The NewDawn’s reporter who toured the main route of Somalia Drive on Tuesday, 4 July says he saw well-armed ERU officers carrying long-ranged weapons at major intersections including Battery Factory, Jamaica Road, New Georgia, Gardnerville and Chicken Soup Factory to arrest motorcyclists and their operators.
On Monday evening, one of the long commercial buses referred here as “Killer Bean”, reportedly ran into a motorcycle and killed the operator instantly between Topoe Village and Battery Factory areas, respectively.
Thereafter, the driver of the commercial bus allegedly escaped the scene of the tragic motor accident and entered the Battery Factory Community before the abandoned bus was besieged and set ablaze by people believed to be angry motorcyclists.
Owners of Killer Bean buses have reportedly parked most of their buses in protest of the burning of the bus belonging to their colleague. The purported strike action by bus owners is said to have caused many people to trek the main Somalia Drive route to their various destinations.
A police source has meanwhile told this paper that dozens of persons believed to be involved in the attack and burning of the bus have been apprehended and are being processed by the Liberia National Police (LNP) for court trial.
The situation is said to have also caused operators of motorcycles in the area to place individual bikes into hiding to avoid being arrested by ERU officers.
However, many pedestrians who spoke to The NewDawn expressed frustration over the attitude of motorcyclists who they say have continued to destroy people’s properties whenever an accident involves a bike operator.
It can be recalled that in early 2015, two yellow buses were set ablaze by angry motorcyclists when the bus killed a rider of a motorbike between the Chicken Soup Factory and Stephen Tolbert Estate Communities, allegedly using gasoline in the process.
By Emmanuel Mondaye-Edited by Winston W. Parley