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Apia workshop owner denies dead teen was worker

The owner of a workshop where a teen died after being crushed under a bus says that the business has not been open to the public for the last five years.“My workshop was closed down in 2008, because people don’t pay their bills, even the workers are not reliable,” says Thomas Ah Yen.The businessman contacted the Samoa Observer to set the record straight about what happened last week.“I was away in New Zealand when I heard what had happened.”Mr. Ah Yen said the teen was not an employee of the workshop, which was open only to their private taxi business and their friends.“He was my son’s friend, a friend of one of the guy’s living here with me,” he said.Folitau Teo, 19, died after the bus he was helping to fix slid off a hydraulic jack and crushed him, causing severe head injuries.Photos published by the family on Facebook showed heavy bleeding from Mr. Teo’s thickly bandaged head.Mr. Ah Yen said he was shocked at the death – and at a visit from the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).“It’s been more than six years since I closed down this business to run a taxi service. I only use the workshop to fix our family cars and also our taxis when they’re broken down.”