Stint in Oss rail crash repaired four times in just over a year

Flowers left at the scene of a fatal rail accident on Braakstraat in Oss, four children were killed, 20 Sept 2018
Flowers left at the scene of a fatal rail accident on Braakstraat in Oss, four children were killed, 20 Sept 2018Photo: @ProRail / Twitter

The Stint electric cargo bike involved in a fatal railway accident in Oss last month, was repaired four times since the summer of 2017. It had its battery replaced three times, and once went in for repairs to the bike's throttle, a spokesperson for Stint Urban Mobility confirmed to NU.nl after reports by the Telegraaf.

"We see no connection between the repairs and the accident. If the battery does not work the Stint stands still and you will not be able to ride it", the spokesperson said to the newspaper. The throttle repair was "something small", he said. 

Owner Edwin Renzen admits that the Stint underwent a lot of repairs, but according to him, the problems were not exceptional. "It had a battery installed from a 'bad series'. That was replaced with batteries that had a production error. Before you now it, you've had three battery sets."

The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate has not yet investigated the Stint involved in the fatal train crash, but has received all the papers about its maintenance and services from the manufacturer, according to the newspaper.

On Monday Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management banned Stints from public roads after the Inspectorate's initial investigation concluded that the vehicle may not be safe. The inspectorate concluded that problems can arise in Stint bikes due to power outage, and problems with the throttle and with the handbrake. This could result in the Stints stopping suddenly, or being unable to brake. 

The investigation into the safety of Stints is still ongoing and may take months to complete. But the initial findings were enough for the Minister to implement the ban, which is in force indefinitely.

On Wednesday RTL Nieuws reported that Stint is suing the Minister and Inspectorate because of the ban. According to Stint, the Inspectorate's research was inadequate, and some tests were not done thoroughly or at all. Stint also doubts whether the Minister knew all the facts, including the company's refutations of the accusations, when she made the decision to ban Stints off the road.

The Stint spokesperson told NU.nl that the company is not at the point of suing yet. "All options are open, but in the first instance we want to enter into a discussion. If we can not figure it out, we will not hesitate to fight the ban in court."

On September 20th a childminder was taking five children to primary school on a Stint in Oss when they were hit by a train on a railway crossing on Braakstraat. Four children were killed. They were 4, 4, 6 and 8 years old. An 11-year-old girl and the 32-year-old childminder were seriously injured. The injured girl and two of the other young victims were sisters. 

"I feel very involved, but not responsible", Renzen said to NU.nl about the fact that a Stint from his company was involved in the fatal accident.

On Monday Oss will hold a commemoration for the victims of the railway accident. Those directly involved in the tragedy will gather in Theater De Lievekamp, where there will be speeches and music, according to Omroep Brabant. Other residents of Oss can gather in the TOP Oss stadium from 3:00 p.m., where the commemoration will be broadcast live on big screens. Omroep Brabant will also broadcast the commemoration on its television channel, site, app and Facebook page for the rest of the Netherlands.

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