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Five Years After Hurricane Rita Disaster, Bus Company Gets ‘Tea Party’ Contract

Great scoop by Lindsay Beyerstein: The BusBank, a sponsor of the truly wild Tea Party Express and an outfit that will transport some protesters to the 9/12

Elisa Mueller
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Sep 09, 2009

Great scoop by Lindsay Beyerstein: The BusBank, a sponsor of the truly wild “Tea Party Express” and an outfit that will transport some protesters to the 9/12 “Tea Party” march on Washington, was ensnared in a horrible disaster during the evacuation of New Orleans.

In 2005, a bus carrying seniors fleeing Hurricane Rita burst into flame outside of Dallas, immolating 23 nursing home residents. Investigators later found that the bus was: driven by an undocumented migrant without a valid U.S. driver’s license, lacking adequate fire extinguishers, and not registered to operate in Texas. When the bus had mechanical problems before the crash, the driver took it to an unqualified mechanic who failed to notice the critical fault–an unlubricated axle that eventually melted and caught fire.

BusBank (aka Global Charters) hired the subcontractor, Global Limo. BusBank boasted on its website that it had a “rigorous operator certification process” to ensure the safety of contracted bus drivers. BusBank used Global even though the subcontractor had a long record of federal and state safety violations, had entered bankruptcy, and was being sued.

Elisa Mueller | Elisa Mueller was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother who taught reading and a father who taught film. As a result, she spent an excessive amount of her childhood reading books and watching movies. She went to the University of Kansas for college, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. She moved to New York City and worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years, visiting film sets all over the world.

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