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Inspectors Cite 50 Philadelphia Buses

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A surprise inspection of 50 buses owned by a private bus company that transports Philadelphia students recently uncovered a number of alleged safety violations and stranded many students without transportation.

The early-morning inspection last month of Pen-Del Coach Line Inc. turned up violations involving incomplete or missing first-aid equipment, missing fire extinguishers, and related safety problems, according to Cpl. Frank Kashetta, unit supervisor of the inspection division of the Pennsylvania State Police and one of the inspectors who visited Pen-Del.

The visit was made, Corporal Kashetta said, because police had received anonymous complaints about the buses' safety. As a result of the inspection, he said, 31 buses were sent to the maintenance yard and, according to local press reports, some 4,000 students were without bus transportation to school that morning.

Penelope M. Gerber, president of Pen-Del, disputed the investigators' findings, noting that the violations named were very minor. "It was hardly life-threatening kinds of things," she said, citing a finding that the buses did not have enough Band-Aids in the first-aid kits. "The proof of the pudding was that there were no citations issued," she said.

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