HOUSTON (KTRK) --Inferior repairs to a bridge guard rail may have contributed to the death of two Houston Independent School District students when their bus crashed last September.
A report from the National Transportation Safety Board says the Texas Department of Transportation reused bolts after a previous accident in the same spot where the bus crashed on 610 and Telephone Road.
READ THE NTSB REPORT
The bus went flying over the guard railing and landed on Telephone Road. It was a horrific crash. According to the NTSB, it was not he first accident at this site and those previous repairs were called inferior.
PHOTOS: Deadly school bus crash in southeast Houston
The report from the National Traffic Safety Board says that TxDOT found there had been a previous severe impact to the bridge rail in the same location of where the HISD school bus went over the bridge rail on September 15, 2015.
The previous severe impact resulted in significant damage to the concrete parapet and the anchor bolts.
The report says there is evidence that the bolts that were bent over by that previous impact were then bent back and reused rather than being replaced.
Also, repair mortar had been used to patch spalls at the posts due to the impact.
NTSB found the quality of the repair mortar was inferior in overall quality to the original concrete which significantly increased the corrosion potential for the embedded steel.
Because of this finding, TxDOT is changing the repair procedure for damaged rails.
Now it will install new anchor bolts as opposed to bending back and re-using damaged bolts.
In response to the report State Senator Sylvia Garcia said had the railings met current safety standards and been properly maintained we might not be mourning the loss of two precious children from our community.
Meanwhile because the injured students did not have seat belts on the bus that crashed, HISD is now buying 60 new buses with seat belts, and students will be required to wear them.