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Old 1st November 2013, 23:39   #61
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Originally Posted by D33-PAC View Post
@a4anurag, so ominous that you were on that same bus ! It must be an eerie feeling for you ! If I was you I'd be thanking my luck that my travel timing was fortunately right !
Death ain't in our hands so it just 'time' that we have to meet. Fate can't be changed so no worries or eerie feelings about the incident. We all have to die one day or the other. I know it is harsh but the truth.

I choose Orange Travels, VRL and Jabbar for travel. I somehow find Jabbar to be disciplined and fast (not rash). Never have I faced a problwm with the following operators on rash driving. May be it was my luck but yet to spot a ultra rash driver.

Anurag.
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Old 2nd November 2013, 08:00   #62
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They have two emergency exits at the roof.
While we are talking roof emergency exits, how is a person going to exit through that?

An average built person definitely won't fit through that, one.

Two, how will a person reach that height from the interior, that too at times of distress?

And oh BTW, recently I was in a KSRTC Volvo which was sprayed with insecticide liberally on the interiors for enhanced breathing experience for the passengers. When I tried opening the top so called exit for ventilation, was shocked to know that they were sealed using silicon paste.
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Old 2nd November 2013, 08:05   #63
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Default Re: Buses in India: Lack of Emergency Exits, a recipe for disaster?

Volvo India's spokesperson said the fuel tank in the bus was not made of metal but roto-molded plastic, which rarely explodes under pressure. Unlike metal fuel tanks, which get compressed and explode due to built up pressure, the plastic fuel tank only cracks, spilling the fuel but not causing a massive explosion, a company spokesperson said.

The bus carrying 50 passengers from Bangalore went up in flames in the early hours of Wednesday and only seven people came out alive from the inferno. Authorities retrieved the bodies and shipped them to a hospital in Hyderabad for DNA tests.

"Right now, officials on ground are looking at all possibilities including wiring problems, engine errors and presence of chemical explosives in the bus's trunk. We'll not leave out any angle," the spokesperson said. Volvo's investigation could continue for more than two days, officials said.

Volvo, which has been manufacturing buses in the country for the past 10 years, said they have come across only three cases of buses going up in flames in India, and none of the fires were caused by fuel tank explosion. The company's buses are manufactured in a factory near Bangalore.

When asked about the speculation of combustible material being present inside the bus, Reddy said that when the fire tenders reached the spot there was no smell of any explosive material. "If there were any such material, the fumes would give out a peculiar odour," Reddy said. But samples have been sent to the forensic lab, they informed. "The actual cause of fire can be determined only after the forensic investigation," he said.

According to a press release issued by officials of the AP transport department, on the sidelines of transport minister Botsa Satyanarayana's visit to Commissionerate, the vehicle, AP 02 TA 0963, is registered in the name of JC Uma Reddy, Anantapur.

"The bus is said to be on lease with Shakeel Ahmed of M/S Jabbar Travels, Bangalore. The vehicle is currently on the rolls of RTO, Bangalore since October 2011," the press note said.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/25014473.cms

Anurag.
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Old 2nd November 2013, 08:51   #64
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Default Re: Buses in India: Lack of Emergency Exits, a recipe for disaster?

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Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
Volvo India's spokesperson said the fuel tank in the bus was not made of metal but roto-molded plastic, which rarely explodes under pressure. Unlike metal fuel tanks, which get compressed and explode due to built up pressure, the plastic fuel tank only cracks, spilling the fuel but not causing a massive explosion, a company spokesperson said.
Plastic fuel tank was expected, as I had mentioned in another thread.

Finding a source of the fire is going to be very difficult. Form the wreckage, we can see that fire has pretty much burned everything that was not made of steel. In fact even steel has come close to melting in quite a few places, and has lost its strength and buckled, like the roof.

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While we are talking roof emergency exits, how is a person going to exit through that?
The roof emergency exits are there to facilitate exit when the bus has fallen on its side blocking window emergency exits. Also I am not sure they are required according to the bus body code. Many of them are not actually emergency exits, but panels to facilitate ventilation in case of AC failure, which I think is also required according to the code in buses with pasted window panes.

As for size, they may look small, but I think most people will actually fit into it. If they are shown as emergency exits, then there is a minimum size requirement according to the code, which I think will fit everyone except the really obese people. And anyway its not the only available emergency exit.

Last edited by GTO : 5th November 2013 at 11:14. Reason: Please quote ONLY the relevant bits of a post. Quoting a full, long post inconveniences our mobile readers. Thanks!
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Old 2nd November 2013, 10:07   #65
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Default Re: Buses in India: Lack of Emergency Exits, a recipe for disaster?

It looks like Transport department has finally awakened after the Mehabubnagar bus accident. According to news report they have initiated new safety measures in state owned and private buses.
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...ust-buses.html
They have made it mandatory to show a video clip regarding emergency exits in all AC buses before the journey starts and in non AC buses driver has to inform the passengers about the same. There are also reports that Volvo training for drivers is also under scanner.
I remember when I first started using KSTRC volvos in its initial days, they used to show the video clips of the safety features and as years passed on they stopped it. I wonder the above measures put forward by transport department how long will it continue and I doubt it being followed by private buses as they tend to show ignorance and careless attitude towards passenger safety.
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Old 2nd November 2013, 11:35   #66
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Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
..Death ain't in our hands so it just 'time' that we have to meet. Fate can't be changed so no worries or eerie feelings about the incident. We all have to die one day or the other. I know it is harsh but the truth..
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Originally Posted by D33-PAC View Post
...@a4anurag, so ominous that you were on that same bus ! It must be an eerie feeling for you ! If I was you I'd be thanking my luck that my travel timing was fortunately right !
A similar accident involving KPN few years back happened, and only 1 passenger survived and around 30 were dead. I was about to travel in the same bus, but since it was full I travelled in ARC. I saw the same bus when it departed in Chennai omni bus stand at 8.30Pm. But morning when I reached native I heard about the news. But anyway I was not shocked but understand I need to stay for some more time..
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Old 2nd November 2013, 11:46   #67
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Default Re: Buses in India: Lack of Emergency Exits, a recipe for disaster?

Few skulls were found in the rear portion of this particular bus, suggesting that passengers were frantically searching for exit at the rear (as is the norm) but found none & hence, were charred.

Source of news : The Telegraph (published @ Calcutta/Siliguri)
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Old 2nd November 2013, 12:41   #68
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Default Re: Buses in India: Lack of Emergency Exits, a recipe for disaster?

I feel there was lack of situational awareness which was supposed to be exhibited by the driver and I really doubt if he ever knew about the emergency evacuation procedure.
I am not aware if volvo has this in their 5 day curriculum offered to trainee drivers. But I strictly emphasis the fact that they have to include situational awareness training as well. Also drivers should have sense of responsibility and when they step into bus they have to make sure if they have the recommended items like hammer which comes attached near windows is present in the bus. Because more often or not I have seen those items are missing from its place near the emergency exit.
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Old 2nd November 2013, 13:06   #69
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Originally Posted by DragonHawk View Post
I feel there was lack of situational awareness which was supposed to be exhibited by the driver and I really doubt if he ever knew about the emergency evacuation procedure. I am not aware if volvo has this in their 5 day curriculum offered to trainee drivers. But I strictly emphasis the fact that they have to include situational awareness training as well. Also drivers should have sense of responsibility and when they step into bus they have to make sure if they have the recommended items like hammer which comes attached near windows is present in the bus. Because more often or not I have seen those items are missing from its place near the emergency exit.
If not anything , this driver could have tried breaking the emergency window from outside the bus.

About cooking in the luggage bay , it's a very common practise. In the days of ALL and Telco only bus travel , the crew used to cook inside the driver "cabin " that these buses used to have. But why blame them? Isn't it upto the bus operators that their crew get access to basic necessities like stay , food , bathrooms at least and isn't it for the govt.to ensure that these needs are taken care of !

Driving any vehicle is such a huge responsibility. As drivers , we can change so many lives. When airline pilots get paid so well , why is it that our HCV /LCV drivers get paid so less!

For me , instead of blaming these poor drivers , it's the tour operators who need to be punished badly.
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Old 2nd November 2013, 13:46   #70
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Default Re: Buses in India: Lack of Emergency Exits, a recipe for disaster?

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Driving any vehicle is such a huge responsibility. As drivers , we can change so many lives. When airline pilots get paid so well , why is it that our HCV /LCV drivers get paid so less!

For me , instead of blaming these poor drivers , it's the tour operators who need to be punished badly.
You made a valid point satya, both are equally responsible and quite rightly in the recent bus accident both driver and the co-owner is held responsible and are arrested.

I do remember one of driver who does night duty in Bangalore-Udupi route, complaining about not providing basic amenities. First thing they don't give proper allowance for night driving, second they don't provide a proper shelter where they can take rest during off duty hours. Instead of focusing on making money, tour operators should focus on addressing the issues which drivers face.
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Old 2nd November 2013, 16:55   #71
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Default Re: Buses in India: Lack of Emergency Exits, a recipe for disaster?

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If not anything , this driver could have tried breaking the emergency window from outside the bus.
The driver would have freaked out seeing the incident and just fled from the scene. The scene of fire emulating would have made him run for his life. May be if we were in that place we also would have ran from the site.

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Driving any vehicle is such a huge responsibility. As drivers , we can change so many lives. When airline pilots get paid so well , why is it that our HCV /LCV drivers get paid so less!
Cheap labour! Who asks for the value of life here?! The buses must run to and fro. Had the travel operators cared for these guys salaries also would in tune of the work these guys do.

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For me , instead of blaming these poor drivers , it's the tour operators who need to be punished badly.
Exactly. What I feel is the speed at which these Volvo's and Mercedes are driven at is not the fun of the driver but a limit or rule kind of imposed by the operators to reach the destination early and faster than it's competitors else the bonus or may a part of salary is cut. I have heard this a couple of times from the drivers of the Kesineni Travels.

Anurag.
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Old 2nd November 2013, 20:14   #72
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The driver would have freaked out seeing the incident and just fled from the scene. The scene of fire emulating would have made him run for his life. May be if we were in that place we also would have ran from the site. Cheap labour! Who asks for the value of life here?! The buses must run to and fro. Had the travel operators cared for these guys salaries also would in tune of the work these guys do. Exactly. What I feel is the speed at which these Volvo's and Mercedes are driven at is not the fun of the driver but a limit or rule kind of imposed by the operators to reach the destination early and faster than it's competitors else the bonus or may a part of salary is cut. I have heard this a couple of times from the drivers of the Kesineni Travels. Anurag.
I have also heard this , but I don't understand the logic of reaching early. Driving faster would mean lower FE , higher risk and higher wear n tear. It could be that these buses are immediately used on return / another routes with very short lead times. Or , maybe these buses are used to transport perishable goods or cargo with time- bound delivery conditions ( for courier companies ,..). Transporting anything else other than passenger's luggage is illegal.

RTO just turns a blind eye. In Bangalore , if you walk through some of the lanes at Kalasipalayam( where most travel agencies have their offices ) ,you will see these buses being loaded / overloaded with all kinds of cargo.
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Old 3rd November 2013, 22:17   #73
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I have also heard this, but I don't understand the logic of reaching early. Driving faster would mean lower FE, higher risk and higher wear n tear.
Do you think the operator cares that much for FE, wear & tear? onc without choice I had boarded Kesineni Travels from Hyderabad to Bangalore as VRL was full. The bus left Hyderabad city (Aramgarh X Roads) at 23:30 and he was in Anand Rao circle at 05:00. I was speechless at the speed that he was maintaining and no honking, no jerky driving. Roads are fantastic so they fly. I could not see any other bus in Anand Rao circle at 05:00 am. Most reach between 05:45 to 06:20.

Doing such speeds by a good car is somewhat understandable but by a bus that has around 50 passengers and so much risk is just not acceptable but who cares to shout at these blokes as all are asleep.

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It could be that these buses are immediately used on return / another routes with very short lead times. Or , maybe these buses are used to transport perishable goods or cargo with time- bound delivery conditions ( for courier companies). Transporting anything else other than passenger's luggage is illegal.
This is a common sight as operators give preference to goods being ferried inter-city rather than humans as they get profit from the goods rather than good will from Humans.

These buses don't move till the luggage compartment is full. For the passengers luggage only 1/4th is used up and rest is for goods with a premium charge. Police turn a blind eye as they get their share so why worry and create a nuisance.

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RTO just turns a blind eye. In Bangalore , if you walk through some of the lanes at Kalasipalayam (where most travel agencies have their offices) ,you will see these buses being loaded / overloaded with all kinds of cargo.
Try going to Private Omni bus stand in Chennai. You'll be shocked seeing the goods that are transported. People don' have place to sit & stand but the goods are placed neatly on even floor assuring no damage. All sorts of vague boxes and sizes are seen and loading is continuous.

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Old 4th November 2013, 10:24   #74
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Default Re: Buses in India: Lack of Emergency Exits, a recipe for disaster?

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I have also heard this , but I don't understand the logic of reaching early. Driving faster would mean lower FE , higher risk and higher wear n tear.
Driving faster would reduce their economy if they accelarate and decelarate hard, but the logic most commercial vehicle drivers use is different. I have spoken to many volvo drivers as well as general taxi drivers. Once the bus attains a speed, they try their best not to brake and thats the reason for horrible driving manners. On most occassions I have seen these volvo drivers slipping into the most cramped gaps and rushing past us without any hint of braking. Even in this case, imagine the bus driver was doing 100, and he planned to overtake the vehicle in front. If it were us, we would have looked at what is to our front, any vehicle, obstacle etc and if the overtaking move was not too safe we would have braked.

However this driver would have tried not to slow down and blindly overtake, thus hitting the divider. Similar attitude shown by other drivers is because of the intention of maintaining pace. That automatically makes them rash.

Another glaring omission done on Volvo buses these days is the lack of a rear windshield. It was present in the earlier versions and IIRC this was also one of the emergency exits. I think this disappeared from when Volvo started building the 9400 version. Apart from this, in an average Volvo bus we find emergency exits through two glass panels on each side and two vents on the roof. The roof vents are feasible only if the bus has rolled over to its side else access is near impossible due to the height.

Whenever I visit SP road, I pass through Kalasipalyam while returning and I see a lot of stuff put into the trunk of these buses. I have seen gas stoves, cylinders, bikes(alternative to transporting it by train), and what not. If I am not wrong, the buses have their batteries stored here, which is a hazard in combination with the goods stored here. So its not the diesel tank that's a primary cause. Maybe due to the fire the diesel would have caught fire, but that is at a later stage.

Last edited by audioholic : 4th November 2013 at 10:28.
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Old 5th November 2013, 13:16   #75
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Default Re: Buses in India: Lack of Emergency Exits, a recipe for disaster?

was just thinking of a simple way to make travel safer in night time buses (which is the vast majority anyways). since most passengers will be asleep when an accident occurs, how about a loud siren which switches on automatically to wake up passengers in case of a crash? this shouldnt add too much to costs. of course, you need easy access to emergency exits too.
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