Transport boss blasts bus operators’ attempt to break lock on Gorge floodgate
Videograb showing two men attempting to break the locks of the floodgate that leads to the Bog Walk Gorge on Monday.

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Egeton Newman, president of the Transport Operators Development Sustainable Services (TODSS) has condemned the actions of two men who tried to break the locks of the floodgate that leads to the Bog Walk Gorge on Monday.

"It was stupid and dangerous, and we condemn this illegal act categorically," Newman told OBSERVER ONLINE.

The men were caught on camera using a bus jack, which was taken from a vehicle in which they were travelling to try and break the lock and chains that secure the gate even as the area experienced flooding due to the passage of Hurricane Ian.

"We have asked our investigative team, headed by former SSP Radcliffe Lewis, to track down the person or persons who were caught damaging the property to gain access to the roadway. Our Safety and Disciplinary team is headed by former SSP Radcliffe Lewis and I assure the public that these men will be found and brought to book with the help of the JCF," said Newman.

Egeton Newman

Newman added his voice to the chorus of outrage aimed at the men. The floodgates at the Gorge were constructed at a cost of $100 million and were installed to save lives of unsuspecting motorists during heavy rains when the Rio Cobre overflows its banks.

"If they had succeeded and opened the gates, it could have lured other motorists into potential danger. It was reckless and stupid," Newman said.

Newman added that illicit actions perpetrated by unscrupulous transport operators such as the display on Monday often create a public relations black eye for the entire transport sector.

"For far too long, operators such as these men have engaged in activity which puts the entire sector in disrepute and feeds into a situation where the sector is not respected by the general population. We have to stamp out this kind of behaviour," he said.

The action of the men also caught the attention of Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who described their behavior as “reprehensible”.

Holness, who was speaking in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, said “the police have been directed to do a thorough investigation and the persons involved should face the full force of the law”.

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