na
Posts: 9155
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 3:52 am

Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:06 pm

Breaking news in Germany. A coach with 32 retirees caught fire on the motorway A2 near Hannover. 20 of them could not leave the bus, many were obviously physically challenged (due to age).
What a tragedy. Witness reports indicate one of the passeneger had smoked on the toilet, causing the fire.
Smoking kills.
 
Charles79
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:13 pm

Das tut mir leid!

Terrible news, RIP to those who died in such a horrible way. IMHO it is one of the worst possible ways to go, trapped w/o the ability to escape.
 
na
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:24 pm



Quoting Charles79 (Reply 1):
IMHO it is one of the worst possible ways to go, trapped w/o the ability to escape.


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MYT332
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:35 am

Heard about it on the radio this morning, it must have been one hell of a fire and just from a cigarette too?
One Life, Live it.
 
HT
Posts: 5857
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:58 am



Quoting Myt332 (Reply 3):
it must have been one hell of a fire and just from a cigarette too?

Reports show, that fire broke out in the coach's toilet, apparently one had had a smoke in there and the cigarette was not extinguished properly. When (later) smoke (fumes) came out of the unoccupied toilet, one pax opened the door and a flash-over occurred, apparently setting the complete interior of the coach ablaze. Only passengers who were sitting in aisle seats could get out of the coach after its immediate stop.
20 people lost their lifes; all other 12 passengers plus driver are in hospital in Hannover.

The coach had been conducting a day excursion to some place in Northrhine-Westfalia
On its way home, it was about 2 kilometers from its final exit from the motorway and had about 10 more kilometers to travel to destination.

The coach is reported to be fairly new (several months old) , being the tour coach (bus) for a local handball team, being operated by a renowned local coach operator.

The coach with the charred remains of the 20 people onboard later tonight was trucked to the forensic department of Hannovers Medical University (Hochschule in German language) to carry out identification of corpses (or what is left of them).

Reportedly the worst desaster in the Hannover area since the 2nd World War.
Second on that list is a unmarked train carrying military ordonance (aka. "ammuniation", "grenades") exploding in a local railroad yard while firefighters tried to put out a fire caused by overheated brakes back in 1969.
The accident of the ICE-train near Eschede killing 101 people, is disregarded, as this is too far away.

In German language: www.haz.de
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
MYT332
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:31 am



Quoting HT (Reply 4):
The coach had been conducting a day excursion to some place in Northrhine-Westfalia

On its way home, it was about 2 kilometers from its final exit from the motorway and had about 10 more kilometers to travel to destination.

You would have thought the guy could have waited for a smoke then. They couldn't have been much more than 20km from home when whoever it was had the cigarette?

Real shame though.
One Life, Live it.
 
HT
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:48 pm



Quoting Myt332 (Reply 5):
You would have thought the guy could have waited for a smoke then. They couldn't have been much more than 20km from home when whoever it was had the cigarette?

That person no longer was in the toilet; it therefore is unclear (has not been stated / published yet) how long the timespan between vacating the lav' and the flash-over was.

Related: The coach is reported to having made an intermediary stop enroute in order to give the passengers a break. Overall, the total travel time should have been not much longer than 4 hours oneway anyhow (depending on traffic conditions).
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
na
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:30 pm

If the smoker who caused it survived its truly tragic. Whatever he will be sentenced to by the judge he should make sure he is for fordidden to have a single smoke again.
 
Charles79
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:12 pm



Quoting NA (Reply 7):
f the smoker who caused it survived its truly tragic.

If indeed the smoker caused the incident and survived he/she will have to live with it for the rest of his/her life, not a pretty scenario at all.

Very sad, many people lost their Opa or Oma today.
 
HT
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:38 pm

One strange and confusing detail was published ...:
The mentioned break (stop) occurred only about 2 minutes before the blaze. The coach had travelled only 1500 meters (about 0.9 miles) on the motorway. It was not disclosed why the stop had been made such a short distance (less than 20 miles) before the trip's final destination. It can only be speculated, if some pax alighted from the coach at this service area (this has happened to myself at this very service area before).
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
57AZ
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:43 am

Very strange. I do not know how the lavatories in European coaches are designed, but the coaches that I have driven here in the US do not have anything that is inflammable in the lavatory compartment, other than maybe a trash liner in the can and toilet paper. Toilet bowls were stainless steel and any cigarette dropped in the bowl would either burn out or be extinguished by water in the bowl. Was this coach equipped with midships lavatory? Perhaps there was some other condition that contributed to the incident?
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
HT
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:41 am



Quoting 57AZ (Reply 10):
Was this coach equipped with midships lavatory?

Yes. The Lav' was right beneath the exit a few steps down. While on fire, it therefore actually blocked the exit; only the front exit was passable, but this apparently was too far away to reach for those passengers sitting in the back of the coach.

And, No, there are no smoke detectors in lav's in coaches in Germany.
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
57AZ
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:33 am

I don't believe that smoke detectors are common on US coaches, either. However, the placement of the lavatory at the rear is pretty much standard. Also, Federal Highway Administration rules require that modern coaches have push out type emergency exits-all windows aft of the first passenger window on each side of the coach and two roof hatches-one fore and one aft. The windows on older coaches have a seal that has a handle on it. Pull the seal out and the window falls out. On newer coaches, the window frame is hinged at the top. Pull the red handle and push the base of the window to escape. I've opened those types of windows plenty of times. One of the ways we'd try to keep the coaches cool while laying over would be to take rolls of paper towels that we carried for cleaning and use them to block the windows in the open position.

In most US coach losses, fatalities are almost always incapacitated from the initial cause-usually loss of control. Very few fatalities are due to passengers being trapped. Also, the German coach having the lavatory located midships, below main deck means that something could have been smoldering in the waste basket or toilet for some time before it would be noticeable to passengers in the cabin. Most US coaches have a half row of seats adjacent to the rear lavatory. If something starts smoking, most likely the passengers will notice it rather quickly and inform the driver.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
petertenthije
Posts: 3260
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:41 am



Quoting 57AZ (Reply 12):
Federal Highway Administration rules require that modern coaches have push out type emergency exits-all windows aft of the first passenger window on each side of the coach and two roof hatches-one fore and one aft.

Similar legislation exists in Europe, at least I think so as most coaches I been in have the safety features you meantioned. But those features are useless on a bus loaded with old people that need walking frames to move about.
Attamottamotta!
 
ACDC8
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:19 pm



Quoting 57AZ (Reply 12):
Federal Highway Administration rules require that modern coaches have push out type emergency exits-all windows aft of the first passenger window on each side of the coach and two roof hatches-one fore and one aft.

As they do in Europe, however as in this case, emergency exits don't help when the majority of the passengers need mobility assistance.

As for the roof hatches, I think it depends on the length of the bus. Our Dennis Darts (30ft) only have 1 roof hatch in the rear but our Novas (40ft) have 2.
A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
 
57AZ
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:10 am



Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 14):

As for the roof hatches, I think it depends on the length of the bus. Our Dennis Darts (30ft) only have 1 roof hatch in the rear but our Novas (40ft) have 2.

I think that the cutoff is 35 feet. The operator that I drove for had two 35 foot coaches and they had two hatches. Some of the newer coaches with wheelchair lifts have a side opening door at the rear. Kind of like an aircraft service door-open the door, slide the lift out of the stowed position, operate lift, return to stowed position and close door.

Roof hatches are also convenient for entering the bus if the door is obstructed or closed. One of my friends drives for Sun Tran and got locked out of his coach during a layover. After getting off the coach he shut the forward doors, removed the handle and slid the driver's window closed from outside the coach. When he took the coach out of the yard, he didn't notice that it was one of the few coaches that Sun Tran hadn't removed the window latch from the driver's window. When he slid it closed, it latched. He had to borrow a ladder and enter the coach through the roof hatch. Tour coaches with outward opening doors have a similar problem. If left standing with the motor off, the air ride systems will bleed down, lowering the coach slightly. If the coach is too close to a high curb, the lower part of the door sill might come to rest on the curb, possibly preventing the door from opening.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
ACDC8
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:17 pm



Quoting 57AZ (Reply 15):
Roof hatches are also convenient for entering the bus if the door is obstructed or closed

The funny thing about roof hatches is that I seriously doubt that many of our passengers (and even some of our drivers  Wink ) will even fit through the hatch in the first place ...  boggled 
A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
 
57AZ
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:01 am



Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 16):

The funny thing about roof hatches is that I seriously doubt that many of our passengers (and even some of our drivers Wink ) will even fit through the hatch in the first place ... boggled

You mean the "supersized" ones? That's probably true. Then again, if the bus is on fire I would imagine that most of them might have enough adrenaline flowing to suck it in and squeeze through. Of course, they're really meant for use if the coach turns over. I've climbed through one on one of our coaches. I'm relatively fit, and I had trouble pulling myself through. Then again, my problem was using my weaker upper body muscles to pull myself up onto the roof.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
ACDC8
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:38 am



Quoting 57AZ (Reply 17):
You mean the "supersized" ones? That's probably true. Then again, if the bus is on fire I would imagine that most of them might have enough adrenaline flowing to suck it in and squeeze through. Of course, they're really meant for use if the coach turns over

I think the hatches on our Nova's may even be smaller then on the Dennis's (not sure though). If we ever had a bus on its side, we'd probably have to kick out the rear window, it would be the safest and quickest IMHO, there's really no way you'd get above average people through the hatch.
A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
 
57AZ
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RE: Bus Disaster Near Hannover Kills 20

Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:05 am



Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 18):
If we ever had a bus on its side, we'd probably have to kick out the rear window, it would be the safest and quickest IMHO, there's really no way you'd get above average people through the hatch.

That's always the good alternative. A few good whacks with a hard object will take care of that. I like the full size doors that many school buses and some coaches now have-very easy to operate and could possibly be operated with the coach on its side since they're smaller than the full sized emergency window exits.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."

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