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Old 14th November 2013, 07:56   #1
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Angry Nov '13: Another Volvo Bus catches fire. 7 dead!

In less than 2 weeks after the Hyderabad VOLVO accident, that claimed close to 45 lives, VOLVO is back on the news again for the wrong reasons.

Newspapers and TV Channels report that atleast 7 people were killed and many were injured when a bus (reportedly VOLVO) hit the divider and its fuel tank caught fire.

According to news reports, the bus was carrying 48 from Bangalore to Mumbai when this tragic accident happened.

An Excerpt from "The Hindu"

Quote:
....According to police, the bus was on its way from Bangalore to Mumbai. While many passengers broke open the windows and escaped after the accident that occurred at 3.20 a.m., three were charred to death. Four others died later. Haveri district police and fire service personnel rushed to the spot, said Inspector General of Police (North Range), Bhaskar Rao.

These interstate/Intercity buses are the default choice for many of us because of its flexible timings and point to point service. But now that this is becoming a death trap is it safe to travel by these purportedly luxury buses any more?

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Last edited by Warwithwheels : 14th November 2013 at 08:14.
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Old 14th November 2013, 08:54   #2
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Default Re: Another VOLVO Bus catches fire! Are inter state luxury bus rides not safe any lon

We shouldn't call Volvos unsafe.
The speeds that these buses are capable of doing at the hands of an amateur driver is what causes these accidents.
Volvos are 100 times safer than our home grown brands.
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Old 14th November 2013, 08:59   #3
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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 Captain Slow View Post
We shouldn't call Volvos unsafe.
The speeds that these buses are capable of doing at the hands of an amateur driver is what causes these accidents.
Volvos are 100 times safer than our home grown brands.
You cant call them safe if they have fuel tank located at a point which gets damaged even with little margin of error and catch fire. Good/safe design should account for the human errors and potential accidents.
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Old 14th November 2013, 09:00   #4
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Default Re: Another VOLVO Bus catches fire! Are inter state luxury bus rides not safe any lon

Far more Leylands, Tata's etc crash every day. So has cargo / passenger traffic become dangerous ?
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Old 14th November 2013, 09:04   #5
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Volvos are considered extremely safe vehicles be it their cars or commercial vehicles.
The fires seem to have a pattern now. The bus hits divider-fuel tank ruptures leading to a fire.
(This is what we are made to believe by the media and shoddy investigations). If this were to be an aircraft going down,we would have the NTSB of America being flown down. Why this step motherly treatment for road accidents?
If it is a design failure on Volvos part,I guess they need to put their hand up and rethink on the placement if the fuel tank. If not,they should clarify.
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Old 14th November 2013, 09:08   #6
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News reports say driver was "overspeeding ". Why did passengers wait for this accident before saying the driver was speeding !
We have discussed this enough earlier. Feel like thrashing whoever kept quiet and was " enjoying " this driving.

No point in blaming Volvo. But I am sure we will see discussions now revolve around relocating the fuel tank.

No one will think about punishing bus operators/ transport authorities / traffic police for being hand in glove in all instances of overspeeding , overloading ,... No one will think about the inhuman conditions these bus crew operate in.

End of all this , everyone will blame the driver first and then the bus maker. Road designs , warning signs ... We aren't even talking about all this.

Waste of time to discuss this. If we are in a Volvo bus the next time , just pray the driver doesn't fall asleep because of his previous nights drive or pray that he drives below 80 but at the same time wish that he overtakes all the other buses / cars on the route and reaches his destination 10 mins ahead of the planned time. As , more than pray , there isn't much most of us will bother to do
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Old 14th November 2013, 09:21   #7
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Default Re: Another VOLVO Bus catches fire! Are inter state luxury bus rides not safe any lon

Guys, this is not a VOLVO bashing thread. This is just to bring out the safety concerns of interstate "luxury" bus rides in general. It just happened that VOLVO has been involved in these two fatal accidents.
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Old 14th November 2013, 09:34   #8
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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 condor View Post
Far more Leylands, Tata's etc crash every day. So has cargo / passenger traffic become dangerous ?
How many of them go up in flames, giving a mass cremation to the passengers?
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Old 14th November 2013, 09:42   #9
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Default Re: Another VOLVO Bus catches fire! Are inter state luxury bus rides not safe any lon

Volvos in India must have done a billion KMs in the last 10 odd years? There are two incidents back to back and suddenly Volvo has become dangerous. Was the driver an expert? Was the bus maintained properly? Media should put these types of info on the public domain instead of reporting a Volvo caught fire. I have seen these busses being driven between 120-140 kmph when I was driving my car on the NH to Hyd. I can imagine If the driver was an amateur or if the bus had poor tyres and brakes, what it would mean to the passengers.

This has nothing to do with Volvo or with intercity travel. It has everything to do with cheap labour, trying to make time (and money) by going fast and poor maintenance.
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Old 14th November 2013, 09:46   #10
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Default Re: Another VOLVO Bus catches fire! Are inter state luxury bus rides not safe any lon

Why are such accidents happening???

1 Wasting of needless time in pickups at literally every street corner or dorrstep by sone operators. I stll remember one of the first ever Volvo jouneys which I took where some one was picked from their doorstep on a very busy national highway just because ithe persons house happened to be in the way despite the main stop in that town being barely a kilometer away. After crawling the first 100 km in anything from 3-4 hours many operators then try to do make by doing the next 500 km in the following 4-5 hours.

2 Innumerable stops for loading and unloading luggage at enroute points again leading to time wastage. Very little control by some operators on what is being carried.

3 Pressure put by passengers to leave very late and reach very early in the morning .

4 Irresponsible comments and publicity about some operators in the internet claiming someone is good or someone is bad depending on whether they are going at 120 Km an hour or 80 km an hour.

5 Little concern for the duty hours of the crew. Many trips are being done involving a single driver on the wheels for 10-12 hours and then forced to do the return trip without sufficient rest. It is on this count that KaSRTC scores high for me as most of the cases the drivers have sufficient rest.
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Old 14th November 2013, 10:00   #11
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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 speedsatya View Post
News reports say driver was "overspeeding ". Why did passengers wait for this accident before saying the driver was speeding !
We have discussed this enough earlier. Feel like thrashing whoever kept quiet and was " enjoying " this driving.
This is nothing but blaming the victims. Do you mean to say passengers have to wake up the whole night to check whether the driver is over speeding? Why can' the authorities install speed governors instead?
What about Volvo's liability? Do they design buses which catch fire every time there is a major accident?
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Old 14th November 2013, 10:16   #12
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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 Gansan View Post
How many of them go up in flames, giving a mass cremation to the passengers?
Why, is going up in flames the only criteria ? A passenger can suffer in any way, anything can be fatal.
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Old 14th November 2013, 10:18   #13
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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 Captain Slow View Post
The speeds that these buses are capable of doing at the hands of an amateur driver is what causes these accidents.
+ 1
The speeds , acceleration and its maneuverability are to be seen. All of the above results in over confidence. This clubbed with fatigue and lack of sleep is definitely a recipe for disaster

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Originally Posted by Guna View Post
You cant call them safe if they have fuel tank located at a point which gets damaged even with little margin of error and catch fire. Good/safe design should account for the human errors and potential accidents.
Guna - I don't think the fuel tank and the fuel was the cause of the fire as diesel will not be combustible without compression (as you may know)
Volvo's have redefined interstate journey but the reason for accidents are definitely not due to design flaws.

Having said that I would still believe Volvo should look at the cause of the fire and identify ways to prevent it (ideally)

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedsatya View Post

No one will think about the inhuman conditions these bus crew operate in.
During my recent train travel a gentleman was explaining his reason for choosing train even though bus would have been comfortable. He explained how a driver with a South Indian operator complained. The driver finished Chennai -> Trichy and could sleep for 4 hrs which had to be used for dinner etc and then was forced to drive Trichy -> Bangalore later that night and was expected to do an afternoon trip to Chennai from Bangalore. He is forced to drive 800 + kms with just 4 hrs of sleep and is also expected to do another 400kms after another 4 ~ 5 hrs of rest.

Operators reasoning - Driving a volvo is very easy and they are very comfortable so this should suffice.

The issue of course IMHO is a combination of a capable vehicle with enormous power , fatigue caused by inhuman conditions , greed on behalf of operators and desire to reach destination early to earn a reputation of last of leave and first to arrive.
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Old 14th November 2013, 10:27   #14
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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 condor View Post
Why, is going up in flames the only criteria ?
It certainly is a very major criteria. In all other scenarios the casualties will be far lesser. If there is no fire, there certainly will be more time for rescue and less panic among passengers.
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Old 14th November 2013, 10:50   #15
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Default Re: Another VOLVO Bus catches fire! Are inter state luxury bus rides not safe any lon

Diesel does not catch fire that easily. Most probable cause might be contraband cargo being carried by these operators. Almost all these private operators and to some extent even RTC also carry cargo in these buses.. It is an additional source of revenue for them.

This will never come out because there are not too many people involved in this racket.

Better bet would be RTC buses, which have 2 drivers and also driver gets off duty immediately after a trip with a minimum of 12 hour rest

Last edited by GTO : 14th November 2013 at 14:37. Reason: Typo. Please proof-read before submitting posts. Thanks!
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