Dodgy buses to be recalled

The Athens public bus company (ETHEL) is to withdraw from circulation at least 10 vehicles whose roadworthiness is in question and which are expected to fail additional technical inspections that have been ordered by the Transport Ministry. The move follows a series of tests ordered after 10 ETHEL buses burst into flames while transporting passengers. The ministry and ETHEL have intensified inspections over the past few days, conducting tests on dozens of buses that serve the capital. Around 40 were found to have problems and at least 10 have been deemed to be beyond repair. Most of the defective vehicles displayed fuel leaks, according to experts, who said it was lucky they had been running on diesel rather than gasoline, as the latter is more flammable. An ETHEL bus that burst into flames last Monday was the 10th to combust in this way since the company took delivery of the vehicles in 2000. An external technician has been recruited to inspect ETHEL’s fleet and the company has hired another 250 technical staff as well as 350 drivers.