NTSB reports findings in Texas bus fire

| 2/26/2007

Insufficient lubrication is being blamed for a bus fire in Texas that killed 23 people who were evacuating from Hurricane Rita in 2005.

That's the finding from the National Transportation Safety Board, which completed its investigation last week.

The bus was carrying 44 residents of an assisted living facility, as well as two staff members, when the right rear wheel hub caught fire as a result of insufficient lubrication in the right side tag axle wheel bearing assembly.

The NTSB claims that Global Limo Inc., the company that owned the bus, failed to conduct proper vehicle maintenance and pre-trip inspections.

In January, Global Limo owner James Maples received probation for his company's involvement in the incident, down from a potential sentence of up to two years in jail.

Maples was convicted of poorly managing his fleet, but was acquitted on the more serious charge of falsifying drivers' logbooks.