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Old 7th August 2005, 23:57   #1
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Default Doors getting stuck in Mumbai Flood

In recent Mumbai floods, there have been cases where people could not open the doors of their cars stuck in the rising waters, and died to drowning/suffocation.

There are two thories--
a)I have heard some people blaming the remote door locking systems (such as auto-cop) and the central door locking systems for the inability of the car occupants when the cars electrical system got affected due to flooding.
b)Some others say that the doors could not be opened due to the pressure of flood water.

To me, both these seem unlikely, (the pressure of water has to be really immense for the possibilty "B"..as i think), and to me this remains unexplainable.

Also some others thinks that occupants died due to Carbon dioxide /monoxide posoning inside the car, and it had nothing to do with the door locks.

What do you think must have happened? What do you think was the most likely cause of doors not opening and the possibility of CO/CO2 poisoning.
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Old 8th August 2005, 00:19   #2
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one more theory given in the newspapers is leakage of CNG in some vehicles- people got suffocated by the CNG gas and died.
One more thing - how much pressure can the glass -( windshield as well as the sides) withstand ??
In case of complete drowning, the glass should break - right ??
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Old 8th August 2005, 00:44   #3
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Quote:
have heard some people blaming the remote door locking systems (such as auto-cop) and the central door locking systems for the inability of the car occupants when the cars electrical system got affected due to flooding.
this quite seems to be the possibility
but from inside you can open the lock manually (can anyone with autocop tell me)

I am also quite not sure how CO/CO2 might have got into cabin

Quote:
In case of complete drowning, the glass should break - right ??
if the water level in car is same as outside level then there will be equal force exerted from both sides
in such case the glass won't break
but if the cabin is completly closed (dry & completly sealed) & the outside water level is high then the glass might break
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Old 8th August 2005, 02:01   #4
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Actually, never underestimate the amount of Force & power that resides in a body of water.

For a very simple calculations sake (this is just for example and not how uit happens, dont want to go into the technical bit too much)- assume that the height of the door is 1meter and that one cubic metre of water is on it
That is equivalent wieght of 1 Tonne!!! So you are trying to push a 1Tonne weight open witha door lever!!! say the water is upto half the door, Its half a Tonne. Thats quite a bit.
IMO it was not the failure of the locking systems,
But the people decided to get out of the car too late, possibly when the water was beginning to tpuch the bottom of the windows and that was too late,
You would have to Kick open the door hard, to open it, or break the side windows and get out
Unfortunately in a panic situation, one cant react so coolly
and tragedy tends to occur
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Old 8th August 2005, 06:16   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psp62in
There are two thories--
a)I have heard some people blaming the remote door locking systems (such as auto-cop) and the central door locking systems for the inability of the car occupants when the cars electrical system got affected due to flooding.
I am not sure but know that most of the cars come with a power lock system wherein the driver side door acts as a master lock opener to all other doors. This mechanism can be mechanical or electronic or both if the mechanism is solely electronic then there are possibilities of getting stuck in the vehicle due to a damage to electricals by water. But in this case a mechanical lock should act normal and be easy to open up.
Aftermarket central locks are nothing but adding electronic assistance to mechanical locks hence they can be considered as a combo lock which opens in any conditions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkanitkar
In case of complete drowning, the glass should break - right ??
The glass is laminated and will not shatter to pieces very easily. When you try to break open the glass it will take some serious effort to bring it down. Also to add dismay the Sunfilm might hold all the shattered pieces together causing further resistance.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I just wonder why didn't some people who got stuck in hatchbacks, consider an option of opening the boot lid (if their doors were jammed) and getting out by collapsing the rear seat. The boot should open in any situation as it has a cable that leads to open the lock.

Last edited by moralfibre : 8th August 2005 at 06:17.
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Old 8th August 2005, 07:51   #6
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Guys first of all, automobile glasses are hardened ones, they cannot break with uniform pressure on the whole surface. If one needs to break it there needs to be a point of contact with added pressure to break automobile glass.

In some european countries cars have a pointed tool as standard equipment like our jack and tommy bar for breaking open the glass window in case of mishaps.

Secondly i was myself in the midst of floods where my GETZ and the INDICA in front of me were not able to open our doors due to water inside and outside the car.

We somehow managed to steer the car to the next road to avoid a breakdown, and to your astonisement the indica and my getz both were afloat at somepoint of time along with three other passengers in my car. This was due to the heavy current of water which was flowing from the sides of my car.

Third thing was that my power windows gave off and were not budging from their closed position.

Hence if the people who died would had even put a metal body pen perpendicular to the glass and smashed on it they would have been able to save their lives.
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Old 8th August 2005, 09:35   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangywarez
We somehow managed to steer the car to the next road to avoid a breakdown, and to your astonisement the indica and my getz both were afloat at somepoint of time along with three other passengers in my car. This was due to the heavy current of water which was flowing from the sides of my car.

Third thing was that my power windows gave off and were not budging from their closed position.

Hence if the people who died would had even put a metal body pen perpendicular to the glass and smashed on it they would have been able to save their lives.
We have seen even SUV's float with the current on TV. Water has immense force due to its density.
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Old 8th August 2005, 17:17   #8
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i dont just understand.if people find that for some reason or the other the doors or the windows are not opening,why not just get out from the boot of the car.most deaths were in hatchbacks like Santro,indica........most hatches have remote boot openers to open the boot lock from the cabin itself and boot locks are not connected to remote operated or manual central locking systems.

Last edited by merve_extreme : 8th August 2005 at 17:21.
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Old 8th August 2005, 21:14   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangywarez
I was myself in the midst of floods where my GETZ and the INDICA in front of me were not able to open our doors due to water inside and outside the car.

We somehow managed to steer the car to the next road to avoid a breakdown, and to your astonisement the indica and my getz both were afloat at somepoint of time along with three other passengers in my car. This was due to the heavy current of water which was flowing from the sides of my car.

Third thing was that my power windows gave off and were not budging from their closed position.
This is very serious, bcoz I have tried previously breaking the window pane of my old car when i was locked out, and found it almost impossible.
It also means that if you were not able to steer the car to a safer location then you might have faced real tough time.

Thirdly, If the doors can not be opened manually due to the water pressure, then even the boot door will be difficult to open bcoz the same pressure of water will be acting on it. The cable lever only opens the latch of the boot , which is the same as manual lever of the front/real doors.

There needs to be a serious discussion for a solution.
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Old 9th August 2005, 02:42   #10
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I think its high time that we wake up to safet aspect of the cars...I saw the pointed hammer kind of thing as a accessories for Fiat car..useful to break open the glass in emergencies. I have scouted around did not see it for any other manufacturer.

Lets face it that developed countries been there and seen it all..so y not use their expereince to our advantage..case in point high safet rating cars etc..


When are we going to get a rating system in India...or is it government only interested in collecting the taxes???
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Old 9th August 2005, 10:50   #11
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Hmmm... i keep a wheel wrench under my seat. would that have helped in breaking the glass?
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Old 9th August 2005, 14:42   #12
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This is what each car should be equiped with as standard ....



http://www.overstock.com/cgi-bin/d2....cid=60488&fp=F


wonder if we can organize a group buy for this .. if we get a 50 of theese in for team-bhp members i
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Old 17th August 2005, 14:26   #13
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yes M M, that's a good idea - and i'm sure that some auto accessory dealer will soon import them down here - after all? what's a few thousand bucks when it comes to your safety.

in fact, this is almost a standard accessory in car purchases around the world, and it is recommended that these tools are taped to the dashboard on the front for easy access.

the first thing you must do when the car is in rising water is open the door - never wait for the water to reach a level where the door cannot be opened due to unequal pressure -

if you struggle with the door too much and it doesn't open , leave it that way till water reaches a higher level inside the cabin, try other options like the windows - and then try the door again.

as soon as you get stuck in water - even at the lowest level, you must immediately open the door, the windows and unhook your seat belt. this is a basic mistake that people made - after all, the water wasn't at that level all the time. before the water reaches that critical level, when things get panicky, we must open all doors/windows

it should never become an emergency that the water is rising around you and you have waited for the last minute to open the doors and windows...

this is what happened in mumbai, people were caught unawares and fatal errors were committed - which we all might have done under similar circumstances -

emergency breaking of the windows and windshield should be required when the car careens off the road and falls into a lake / water body and you have minimum time to struggle with the door due to the car sinking fast.

but remember, if there is the same level of water inside and outside the door, the door can open - so keep trying.

i believe autocop also was part of the culprit - and users must find out the real story of how autocop acts in floods, or any other kind of accident...
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Old 17th August 2005, 17:37   #14
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I think Mercs r the most unsafe cars if the eletronix get messed up in the floods. Most of the mercs have the unlock button on the dash board and there is no other manual way of opening the locks from the door panel. So if the electronic system fails your pretty much stuck in unless u break the rear glass to jump out.
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Old 17th August 2005, 17:54   #15
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Quote:
there is no other manual way of opening the locks from the door panel. So if the electronic system fails your pretty much stuck in unless u break the rear glass to jump out.
Cant we open them by simply using the door knob on the inside? This automatically unlocks the mechanism.

Butttttttttttttttttt I met CLS55 and he was telling me of a way to open the sunroof in such situations (with a tool included in the manual).

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