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Old 15th November 2013, 19:20   #91
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

First of All - Condolences!! for the Persons who lost their lives and my Concern for the Injured. And Kudos to the Young Person who saved many lives.

I would like to ask a Question to everybody on this Forum - Will you Buy a Car or SUV, which has Best Safety Standards in the World, Active & Passive Safety Features, ABS, ESP, EBD etc., etc., BUT, but WILL TURN INTO AN INFERNO on an Accident.

To ERR is Human or Else, We need Robots to Drive. Most of the Persons on this Forum are above Average Drivers, but still don't you commit mistakes?. Yes, We do make many mistakes, but many errors don't turn fatal. Most of the Safety Standards are meant for the Driver's Error.

In a Year, We've more than 1 lac, major accidents in India. Some are avoidable and some unavoidable. And also, I've seen Pictures of Accidents in India & Abroad, where the Cars have turned into a Single Sheet Metal and all the Occupants have died - BUT, rarely or very rare cases of Catching Fire.

I've seen Buses running the Engines for 24 hrs with the Air-Conditioning in Middle East - And also meeting with accident under such extreme Heat. But rarely catch Fire.

PS: I'm not supporting Private Operators, Politicians, Volvo or any other Government Department.

Last edited by jaaz : 15th November 2013 at 19:26.
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Old 15th November 2013, 19:32   #92
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Default Re: Another VOLVO Bus catches fire! Are inter state luxury bus rides not safe any lon

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Originally Posted by .sushilkumar View Post
I think we are unnecessarily bashing Volvo here.

Private Operators hardly stick to recommendations from manufacturers. I have always maintained that in an unregulated sector, private operators running Volvos is dangerous, because the owners are purely working for profits . I regularly travel in HRTC ( Himachal ) Volvos. The drivers stick to 80 kph upper limits. All the Volvo drivers are trained in Bangalore and then only allowed to drive these buses. While Private operators too train their drivers, it's anybody's guess that the actual person driving the bus is the same or not.

Compare that to a travel I did in a private Volvo (Bhoot Nath travels ). It was poorly maintained with people travelling sitting on floor.



Perfectly put in. Usually its business time for Police & law enforcement agencies after Sunset and a certain Mahatma Gandhi on a paper with 500 written on it is the way forward for these fly by night private bus operators.
The Volvo, which met with an Accident near Haveri, Karnataka was barely 35-40 days Old. What is your say here?

I can imagine only 2 things here - 1. Explosive items kept in the Luggage compartment or 2. Technical Problem with the Manufacturer.

Last edited by jaaz : 15th November 2013 at 19:49.
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Old 15th November 2013, 19:35   #93
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaaz View Post

I would like to ask a Question to everybody on this Forum - Will you Buy a Car or SUV, which has Best Safety Standards in the World, Active & Passive Safety Features, ABS, ESP, EBD etc., etc., BUT, but WILL TURN INTO AN INFERNO on an Accident.
You are assuming that all such accidents have the same consequence. Have all such accidents involving the manufacturer in question, resulted in fires? If not, you're stretching a generalized assumption, which is unfair.

What we need is a thorough investigation of the accidents. If the manufacturer is found responsible, specific design changes should be demanded and implemented, under the supervision/approval of concerned authorities. If there are other incriminating factors (operator negligence, equipment mishandling etc.), appropriate action should be taken.

What we don't need is jumping to conclusions, based on TWO accidents. Like you say, we have over a lakh major accidents in India, and to label a certain manufacturer or brand unsafe on the basis of TWO accidents is harsh, esp. in the case of a manufacturer which has a excellent long-term safety record.

What we also don't need is completely biased and uninformed people (travel operators) passing judgment exonerating themselves and blaming the other party with nonsense arguments, as has happened in this case.

Volvo (or any other manufacturer) deserve to be crucified if found guilty, but with relevant facts achieved through proper investigation, not suppositions and unsubstantiated accusations.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 15th November 2013 at 19:49. Reason: spelling & grammar
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Old 15th November 2013, 19:51   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
You are assuming that all such accidents have the same consequence. Have all such accidents involving the manufacturer in question, resulted in fires? If not, you're stretching a generalized assumption, which is unfair. What we need is a through investigation of the accidents. If the manufacturer is found responsible, specific design changes should be demanded and implemented, under the supervision/approval of concerned authorities. If there are other incriminating factors (operator negligence, equipment mishandling etc.), appropriate action should be taken. What we don't need is jumping to conclusions, based on TWO accidents. Like you say, we have over a lakh major accidents in India, and to label a certain manufacturer or brand unsafe on the basis of TWO accidents is harsh, esp. in the case of a manufacturer which has a excellent long-term safety record. What we also don't need is completely biased and uninformed people (travel operators) passing judgment exonerating themselves and blaming the other party with nonsense arguments, as has happened in this case.
Totally agree with you Chetan. We definitely cannot squarely blame Volvo. The point here I think is that Volvo has been slow of the blocks and has not investigated the first accident. If they have then by now should have come out with their defence. I remember when Princess Diana died in the car crash,Mercedes was out there like a rash,defending their product. Volvo has now sent in their top man from Sweden to investigate. Don't forget there was a third incident of an engine fire on a KSRTC Volvo sometime last week on the Bangalore -Mysore highway. Can't help notice that all the incidents involved Bangalore route busses,the India headquarters of Volvo. Come on Volvo ,come out with your side.Stand corrected. I guess the engine fire incident was not a Volvo.

Last edited by Arjun Reddy : 15th November 2013 at 19:54.
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Old 15th November 2013, 20:02   #95
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

Moving away from TOI and Volvo bashing I would like to point out the skill of drivers driving these high performance buses.
I am a guy who hits the highways both on 4 wheeler and 2 wheeler for pleasure purpose and I am terribly afraid of Volvo/Volvo like buses more than the ill reputed truck drivers.
I am talking from my experience from Bangalore Mumbai, Bangalore Coimbatore, Mumbai Ahmedabad route. These buses drive as if there is no tomorrow, whatever may be the cause...time constraint, faulty schedules( Read too less time given to complete the route etc.)
It is no surprise that these drivers leave no room for correcting errors because of the speed they maintain.
This is my personal opinion though I may be wrong but as a policy I just give side whenever I see a bus of this kind whether coming from front or behind.
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Old 15th November 2013, 20:21   #96
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

Quote:
Originally Posted by techfreak View Post
Moving away from TOI and Volvo bashing I would like to point out the skill of drivers driving these high performance buses.
I am a guy who hits the highways both on 4 wheeler and 2 wheeler for pleasure purpose and I am terribly afraid of Volvo/Volvo like buses more than the ill reputed truck drivers.
I am talking from my experience from Bangalore Mumbai, Bangalore Coimbatore, Mumbai Ahmedabad route. These buses drive as if there is no tomorrow, whatever may be the cause...time constraint, faulty schedules( Read too less time given to complete the route etc.)
It is no surprise that these drivers leave no room for correcting errors because of the speed they maintain.
This is my personal opinion though I may be wrong but as a policy I just give side whenever I see a bus of this kind whether coming from front or behind.
You definitely aren't alone. I've been scared within an inch of my life multiple times by long-distance buses, both while travelling within the bus or driving in the vicinity of one. I now try to avoid both scenarios if I can help it.

All large vehicles have enormous blind spots which call for extra caution while driving, but some of these drivers maneuver like they're playing a video game.
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Old 15th November 2013, 21:25   #97
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

According to latest reports in "The Hindu"

Quote:
....Of the seven victims, five, including a couple and their three children, were a family from Mumbai.

The couple was Kalim Khan, 40, Sameera Banu, 32, and their three children Aman, Numan and Kaif.
Meanwhile, the bus operator cleverly washes his hands off:

Quote:
Mr. Shakeel Ahmed said Volvo Buses too must be held accountable for the accident as the bus, costing Rs. 1.1 crore, was purchased less than two months ago. The agency representatives said that there could also be a possible flaw in the bus design leading to the accident. They maintained they had followed all the security guidelines, adding that the bus had an emergency exit and was carrying only the baggage of the passengers on the night of the accident. He said that the agency had a five-year-permit from October 9 this year, and the bus was serviced as recently as a week ago by Volvo Buses, adding that the maintenance was carried out only at the facilities approved by the company. He also claimed that the two drivers Nawaaz (48) and Mujahid (42) were both trained for a week after the bus was purchased and issued certificates by Volvo. The two drivers had been associated with the travel agency for the last five years.

While some survivors claimed that the bus was travelling at a speed of over 100 kmph, Mr. Shakeel Ahmed said the bus could not go beyond 90 kmph due to speed governors. “Volvo too must be questioned regarding its design,” he said.
Source 1

Source 2

Last edited by Warwithwheels : 15th November 2013 at 21:27.
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Old 15th November 2013, 21:31   #98
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

According to the Indian Express, the dead includes a cleaner, who was sleeping in the luggage compartment.
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Old 15th November 2013, 21:32   #99
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Default Re: Another VOLVO Bus catches fire! Are inter state luxury bus rides not safe any lon

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaaz View Post
The Volvo, which met with an Accident near Haveri, Karnataka was barely 35-40 days Old. What is your say here?

I can imagine only 2 things here - 1. Explosive items kept in the Luggage compartment or 2. Technical Problem with the Manufacturer.
After First Incident , Volvo Has Already clarified that The material used for making diesel tanks can withstand fire. Still diesel tank's catching fire is a mystery only investigators can reveal ( provided they do a fair investigation). Quite possible that operators are adding extra tanks to the buses to increase range and fill them up at places where diesel is cheap to reduce their operational costs .

Another point is drivers skills. If he has hit median , He was Most probably sleeping or distracted while driving.

P S : - 35-40 days are enough to do a dangerous modifications in any car / bus.
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Old 15th November 2013, 21:34   #100
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warwithwheels View Post
According to latest reports in "The Hindu"



Meanwhile, the bus operator cleverly washes his hands off:



Source 1

Source 2

Sounds like a desperate attempt to protect insurance claims on the new bus, which would otherwise be a huge write-off if the claim is rejected. Aren't there clauses against transporting inflammable/explosive material in passenger buses?
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Old 15th November 2013, 21:35   #101
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

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Originally Posted by mail4ajo View Post
And also not sure if discussed before, I have heard Volvo does not construct the body. They offer as Chassis only. Bodies are customized by operators. Is this true?
Its partially true that Volvo does not construct the body of all its buses. Volvo B7R is a chassis made by Volvo, and many bus bodies are available for this B7R chassis. However the Volvo 9400 is a design that is made fully by Volvo.

Dont mean to trash private operators here, but most private operator buses read 'B7R' at the back, whereas MSRTC Airavatas read 9400. If one looks at the side of the MSRTC buses, the last window is a bit small, and also has a kind of exhaust vent at the top of the last or second last window, strongly suggesting that the bodies on the B7Rs might be a different design.

This is about the older, single axle Volvos on the road. I've absolutely no idea about the newer multi-axle ones (B9R)
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Old 15th November 2013, 21:39   #102
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
According to the Indian Express, the dead includes a cleaner, who was sleeping in the luggage compartment.
I thought I'd misread that in the initial report, assuming by 'trunk' they meant the enclosed space behind the driver's seat in some buses, that has a small sleeper berth for the spare driver. I've seen such arrangements in a few long-distance buses.

Sleeping in the cargo-hold? Can't they spare ONE seat for the spare driver on the bus?

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 15th November 2013 at 21:44.
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Old 15th November 2013, 22:05   #103
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

Could this be another scam at the cost of lives? We've had two identical accidents. In both cases, the buses are a total loss. Money from insurance claim? The government does the usual process of dumping some money to the next of kin to shut them up and slap the usual fine to the operator so "people know" they have not been spared. Who really cares here?
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Old 15th November 2013, 22:53   #104
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Did both buses hit the culvert on the left of the road ? I know this bus hit its LHS on the culvert. But the AP bus accident was when overtaking another vehicle , which means the RHS of the B9R hit the culvert ( unless he was overtaking from the left ). How is it that the B9Rs caught fire on hitting either sides to the culvert ?

This definitely is something beyond the diesel tank. I have seen worse head on collisions involving B9Rs and B7Rs at much higher speeds. Never have these vehicles caught fire.
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Old 15th November 2013, 22:57   #105
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Default re: Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdiddy741 View Post
Its partially true that Volvo does not construct the body of all its buses. Vol
Dont mean to trash private operators here, but most private operator buses read 'B7R' at the back, whereas MSRTC Airavatas read 9400. If one looks at the side of the MSRTC buses, the last window is a bit small, and also has a kind of exhaust vent at the top of the last or second last window, strongly suggesting that the bodies on the B7Rs might be a different)
Initially Volvo used to deliver a B7R chassis to Azad India who then built bodies. From the second generation and the multi axle era, AZAD India was purchased by Volvo, or in other words Volvo opened their own coach manufacturing facility and built standard bodies adhering to regulations. This is known as the 9400 series.

The 9400 is built on a B7R chassis and is less common these days.
The 9400XL is built on the B9R chassis and is commonly the multi axle bus, ie the one that caught fire.
The 9400PX is built on the B11R chassis and is a recent entrant and very few operators have started running this bus. This is the one with a 12speed I-Shift transmission as standard.

The emergency door was initially supplied in KSRTC multi axle buses after which KSRTC and Volvo together appealed to the regulating authorities that this arrangement was not necessary. It was then shelved in 2011. Now KSRTC has been retrofitting doors by removing two seats and cutting a door on the drivers side. Looks crude, but that is definitely better than a window. At least in a panic situation the person least aware of emergency exits can break a door open and get out. At least in the Haveri incident I am pretty sure people were aware of emergency exits after the mehboobnagar accident. Whereas the Mehboobnagar accident was a one of the first time accident wherein people didn't have an idea about the arrangements made for an emergency.

My suggestion to Volvo is that they should implement a door open sequence under hard impact.

Also, the fuel tank is already split into smaller quantities. Also, it is widely known that diesel is not so easy to ignite unlike petrol and kerosene. Diesel will only be a supplementary fuel. Primary cause will be something else. Only after diesel reaches a high pressure and temperature, it will really explode.

I guess its a combination of the battery array, inflammable material in the storage space that led to the fire. Diesel would ha e joined the party later.
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