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    Thread: How Safe are Volvo Multiaxle Buses on Indian Roads?

    1. #1
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      Angry How Safe are Volvo Multiaxle Buses on Indian Roads?

      Just before people can forget the gruesome Volvo bus accident at maha****nagar on october 30th that killed more than 40 passengers one more Volvo Bus has been totally engulfed in fire killing 7 people after meeting with an accident near Haveri. The bus belonging to National travels had left Bangalore to Mumbai yesterday at 8 p.m. with 49 people on board including 2 drivers and a cleaner.

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      Seven people died and 33 were injured when a private Volvo multi-axle bus hit a bridge and caught fire in Haveri district of Karnataka on Friday early morning. Diesel tank of the bus got ruptured when the rear of the bus hit the bridge and later caught fire, similar to the mishap that killed 45 people on October 30 in Mehabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh.The bus, operated by Bangalore-based National Travels, was on its way from Bangalore to Mumbai, police said. The accident occurred at around 3.20 a.m. near Kunimelli bridge, off Bankapura Cross in Haveri district of central Karnataka. While those with burn injuries are admitted to district hospital, Haveri, those sustaining burn injuries have been shifted to KIMS, Hubli, said Bhaskar Rao, Inspector General of Police (North Range), Belgaum.

      Haveri Superintendent of Police N. Shashi Kumar told The Hindu that after hitting the bridge, the bus moved for about 150 mts when the driver applied the brakes and caught fire. Three died on the spot and four others died on the way to hospital due to burn injuries. Many passengers suffered fracture and related injuries too during their attempt to jump out of the bus through emergency exit windows. There was no inflammable material inside the bus however, the SP said.

      For details about the accident, people may contact the Haveri Town police – 08375232333 and 9480804545; Haveri Police control room – 08375237368; Haveri Superintendent of Police – 9480804501; Additional SP – 9480804502; Deputy SP, Haveri – 9480804520 and Deputy SP, Shiggaon – 9480804522.

      On October 30, a Volvo multi-axle bus operated by Bangalore-based Jabbar Travels which was on its way from Bangalore to Hyderabad met with a similar mishap near Palem in Meha****nagar district of Andhra Pradesh. While seven, including the driver of the bus escaped, 45 passengers were charred to death inside the bus itself. Here too, the bus brushed against the retaining wall of a bridge damaging the diesel tank resulting in fire that engulfed the vehicle within minutes.
      Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/nationa...cle5349942.ece





      The back to back accidents where in the buses were destroyed by fire within minutes of the accidents rises serious doubts about the safety of these buses on Indian Roads/Indian conditions.
      Last edited by venbab; 14th Nov 2013 at 09:56.
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      Quote Originally Posted by venbab View Post
      The back to back accidents where in the buses were destroyed by fire within minutes of the accidents rises serious doubts about the safety of these buses on Indian Roads/Indian conditions.
      IMO its not really correct to say that Volvo buses are unsafe for India, but the way they're driven around & the way they're maintained are something that need to be probed. I've not seen a single Volvo to be driven sanely. With more power at disposal, these buses are driven like crazy by the drivers & that in turn needs to be blamed on the transport companies pressurizing them to ply more trips to reap profit. And how about drunken driving which is another cause of such accidents.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Lvramanan View Post
      IMO its not really correct to say that Volvo buses are unsafe for India, but the way they're driven around & the way they're maintained are something that need to be probed. I've not seen a single Volvo to be driven sanely. With more power at disposal, these buses are driven like crazy by the drivers & that in turn needs to be blamed on the transport companies pressurizing them to ply more trips to reap profit. And how about drunken driving which is another cause of such accidents.
      I totally agree with you.

      My concern is not about the accident (definitely the drivers are to be blamed for this and not the bus) but the fire that spreads immediately after the accident destroying the bus and killing the passengers.
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      I wanted to post this question when I read the news this morning. Thanks venbab.

      1. The Safety standards in India, were never in focus of the enforcement agencies. The focus is always on the lowest cost.

      2. the vehicle procurement methods and processes especially vehicle definition/specs/testing/approval are appeared to be from previous generation, when the peak speeds were 45KMPH, Now with 80 KMPH GQ and Express ways, some of the safety aspects might be missed.

      3. Tracking of health of the vehicles is probably missing. Unless something breaks down, no preventive maintenance is done.

      4. the drivers are not disciplined, working standards are poor. compensation is poor, retraining is absent.

      5. Most long distance buses, carry the luggage/consignments much more than the number of people they carry. I have seen they getting overloaded.

      6. When things go terribly wrong, it takes years to get justice. enforcement and punishment is minimal. even if it is driver's mistake, he will be happy to spend time in the jail without having to worry about how he will earn money. He has very less at stake.


      One of the way to enforce is to keep the compensation to victims very very high e.g. 50Lac to 1 Crore per person who died or got injured seriously. Compensation must be disbursed within 2-3 weeks of the accident. Such Insurance Premiums will be very high and Insurance companies must validate the fitness of the vehicle before every renewal. this of course increases cost of travel to some extent.
      Last edited by Nomad; 14th Nov 2013 at 10:24.

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      With most of the private operators flouting rules coupled with non existent enforcement and lack of proper training to drivers will result in more such mishaps. May the departed souls R.I.P.
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      Nomad - I agree with your points.

      At the same time is it not possible for Volvo, to take this as a challenge and see how they can make their design even more robust.(I know they will not be responsible for insane

      driving of others, but still they are the ones who can give a better solution to this firing)

      Automobile world is famous because of that. They attack the source of the problem always to prevent the re occurrence.

      I think it is designing of the fuel tank, its position, tolerance to heat etc. that can make Volvo buses non flammable.

      Just my few pennies.

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      Quote Originally Posted by bala_321 View Post
      I think it is designing of the fuel tank, its position, tolerance to heat etc. that can make Volvo buses non flammable.
      How much ever sophisticated things you design & sell it, if its given in the hands of a idiotic moron and not maintained properly as per how it should be maintained, all the efforts goes vain. Adding more to that is the pathetic law & order enforcement when such malpractices or offenders are found. As Nomad stated, the fine for breaking law should be made strict & the penalties should be very high in case of such instances.
      Last edited by Lvramanan; 14th Nov 2013 at 11:05.

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      I did a return trip to Mangalore by multi-axle. In the Shiradi ghat, with broken roads, the multi-axle becomes a bullock cart. It needs to be driven with care as the whole bus sways like a yo-yo, else a chance of a topple exists. Other normal buses were driven without care on the crater roads, whereas the multi-axle, just was crawling. Also cornering is done at high speeds and if your in a window seat, you could feel the vehicles passing you by few inches- scary indeed.
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      These volvo bus drivers think they drive m800s, watch a few videos on youtube you will know what I am taking about, most of them are not maintained properly, and diesel burning like this is not possible, at least the physics i studied denies diesel burning this way.

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      Quote Originally Posted by mannu View Post
      diesel burning like this is not possible, at least the physics i studied denies diesel burning this way.
      I used to travel in the Pondicherry - Ernakulam Kallada travels volvo. Now that you mentioned flammability, I am scared.

      Ethyl alcohol burns real fast!!
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