Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Watch out! Your vigilance can save lives!

Passenger Safety Tips against Bus Bombs
N.W.A.N.Y Wijesekara

Though extremely inhumane and barbaric, bus bomb attacks targeted at civilians have become an every day reality for the general public of Sri Lanka. A large majority of Sri Lankans depend on public transport for their day to day activities. Bus bombs bring loss of life and disability, the loss to the bus owners needn’t to be mentioned.

Bus bombs can be of many types.
1. Bombs kept in buses (especially in the hood rack).
2. Bombs that can be pasted to buses
3. Suicide bombers inside buses.
4. Suicide bombers colliding with buses.
5. Road side bombs impacting on buses.
However, the good news is that most of bus bomb attacks can be prevented if the public is vigilant and attentive.

Here are some of the safety tips for passengers to prevent bus bombs. Some of them are part of general safety rules to prevent any terrorist activity, however, we will be focusing mostly on safety of buses.

Before you get onto a bus:

Get your bags checked by the civil protection officers or the bus driver or conductor.

Make sure that no unattended objects are there, if you find any, DO NOT TOUCH THEM! Remove people from the suspected object. Call 119 or the closest police station.

Emergency Services

Fire Service (Colombo)
(+94) 011 242 2222, 110
Police Emergency Service
Police Emergency (Colombo)
(+94) 011 243 3333
Accident Service (General Hospital)
(+94) 011 269 1111
Ambulance Services

St. John
(+94) 011 243 7744

Sri Lanka Red Cross
(+94) 011 267 2727

Line up in a queue. Do not rush into the bus. This can help the terrorists easily squeeze in.

When you are inside a bus:

Check under your seat, behind, in front and on either sides of your seat. Make sure that no items are kept on the hood rack.

Be vigilant about passengers.

Be on alert for passengers who get in half way as well as those who get off half way, especially those who seem to be guided by mobile phone calls.

If you see any unattended objects or baggage, inform the conductor or driver or the civil protection officer. DO NOT TOUCH THEM! Remove people from the suspected object. Call 119 or the closes police station.

Beauty is skin deep! Some times, terrorists can be attractive and charming! Be careful!
Do not take volunteers to take baggage onto your lap unless you are personally familiar with the person.

Speak out!!! Question!!! Clarify!!! After all it’s your safety!!!

Public vigilance works! Great tragedy prevented through public vigilance.
Bus bomb in Mount Lavinia, 23 February 2008.

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