Investigation after wheels fall off bus

AUTHORITIES are investigating how a bus lost two wheels on the West Tamar Highway on Wednesday.

The Examiner reported online yesterday that the incident occurred in the north-bound lane at Riverside, past the Pomona Road intersection, about 12.30pm.

The white bus, with an aqua ribbon design on its side, had pulled over to the left-hand side of the highway, near the corner of Riverside Way.

The bus had double sets of rear wheels, and the two on the rear left- hand side had fallen off.

A Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources spokeswoman said the department became aware of the incident yesterday afternoon and was following up with the bus operator.

She said that if police had been called, the department's transport inspectors would have attended the scene.

"However, Tasmania Police was not called," the spokeswoman said.

"All buses providing a public service must be maintained in a roadworthy condition and pass regular maintenance checks as part of their accreditation."

An Ambulance Tasmania duty manager confirmed that a paramedic crew encountered a bus that had lost two wheels on the highway on Wednesday.

The duty manager said the ambulance was in no danger of hitting the lost wheels, because the crew saw the first wheel come to a rest and then knew to slow down.

He said the crew then saw the second tyre going off to the side of the road.

The duty manager said the paramedics stopped to ask if anyone needed help but it was not required, so they continued on.

A passing motorist, who declined to be named, said he pulled over to offer assistance but his offer was declined.

He said the bus driver was talking on his two-way radio and appeared flustered.

The motorist said he saw a removalist truck stop in front of him, and two men from the truck got out and recovered the lost bus wheels from down the road, wheeling them to the rear of the bus.

A West Tamar Highway resident, who did not wish to be identified, said one of the tyres hit his letterbox.