ABOUT 20 passengers on a chartered bus escaped death on Thursday when a locomotive hit the back of the bus and ripped out a portion of a side.
The incident has prompted the police to renew its call to motorists to be cautious while on the roads.
The passengers were taken to Labasa Hospital and 18 were sent home after treatment while two were admitted. One suffered head injuries and the other had an open fracture.
Health Ministry spokesman Shalvin Deo said the 18 passengers sent home suffered minor injuries. The group were on their way to the funeral of Avnit Lal, a fifth former of Nadogo Secondary School who died last week after falling off a trailer in Daku. The accident happened at the junction of Batinikama Rd and the main road, beside the FSC mill.
The police have claimed the driver was on his cellphone just prior to collision.
Police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said the driver had been questioned although no charge had been laid.
"The driver knows very well that it is forbidden to use cell- phones while driving but he ignored it and put people's lives at risk. The driver will be charged as soon as police investigations are completed," he said.