Hsuehshan tunnel fire

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Re: Hsuehshan tunnel fire

Postby Super Hans » 09 May 2012, 17:51

Yeah, it's difficult to explain what I mean without drawing a diagram. As all the traffic was travelling at the same speed, the bus in front should have been unaffected by the accident and should have just been able to carry on. My question is: As the car ion the middle is the vehicle which had the blowout, why did this affect the bus in front, and how did the bus behind, which understandably hit the car, then ram the car with the blowout into the bus in front.
Unless I am completely misunderstanding the situation here, or unless the bus in front was unfortunate enough to have to brake suddenly at exactly the same moment as when the car suffered the blowout, then I can't understand how this happened in the way that it did.
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Re: Hsuehshan tunnel fire

Postby Taiwan Luthiers » 09 May 2012, 17:59

Super Hans wrote:Yeah, it's difficult to explain what I mean without drawing a diagram. As all the traffic was travelling at the same speed, the bus in front should have been unaffected by the accident and should have just been able to carry on. My question is: As the car ion the middle is the vehicle which had the blowout, why did this affect the bus in front, and how did the bus behind, which understandably hit the car, then ram the car with the blowout into the bus in front.
Unless I am completely misunderstanding the situation here, or unless the bus in front was unfortunate enough to have to brake suddenly at exactly the same moment as when the car suffered the blowout, then I can't understand how this happened in the way that it did.


The question is, how closely was the bus in the back following the car, and how far was the car away from the bus in the front?

If they're too close then there would not be enough space for the bus to brake because a bus needs longer to stop compared to a car, so if the car had to stop then the bus will almost certainly hit the car.

Like I said tailgating is sickingly common in Taiwan and if you try to put some distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, more vehicle will overtake you and fill in those space between you and the vehicle in front of you. If someone had to brake, especially at a higher speed then there wouldn't be enough time for the drivers to react, let along actually glide to a stop.

So its possible the three vehicles are too close so when someone stopped, they all ran into each other.
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Re: Hsuehshan tunnel fire

Postby Belgian Pie » 09 May 2012, 19:15

Interestingly, the double decker buses that go into the tunnel have a compartment with special fireproof head masks that allow people to breathe like 40 minutes in smoky conditions, plus oxygen tanks and even hand powered torches. Howwever, in the rush to get out, the passengers and driver forgot and they were unable to escape any further because they couldn't see their way.


I don't think they carry oxygen ... compressed air would be more likely ... :ponder:
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Re: Hsuehshan tunnel fire

Postby Icon » 09 May 2012, 20:50

Belgian Pie wrote:
Interestingly, the double decker buses that go into the tunnel have a compartment with special fireproof head masks that allow people to breathe like 40 minutes in smoky conditions, plus oxygen tanks and even hand powered torches. Howwever, in the rush to get out, the passengers and driver forgot and they were unable to escape any further because they couldn't see their way.


I don't think they carry oxygen ... compressed air would be more likely ... :ponder:


Nope, they showed the mini oxygen tanks, the ones you take when hiking above a certain level. And first aid.
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Re: Hsuehshan tunnel fire

Postby Icon » 09 May 2012, 20:53

Super Hans wrote:Yeah, it's difficult to explain what I mean without drawing a diagram. As all the traffic was travelling at the same speed, the bus in front should have been unaffected by the accident and should have just been able to carry on. My question is: As the car ion the middle is the vehicle which had the blowout, why did this affect the bus in front, and how did the bus behind, which understandably hit the car, then ram the car with the blowout into the bus in front.
Unless I am completely misunderstanding the situation here, or unless the bus in front was unfortunate enough to have to brake suddenly at exactly the same moment as when the car suffered the blowout, then I can't understand how this happened in the way that it did.


The truck had a blowout, a blue truck. That one got away Okish... just burned down, they interrogated the driver, that's all.

Apparently, between the buses, there was another vehicle, not the original truck in the blowout, but some accounts -especially in English- say it was bus to bus collision. So, yeah, confusion there is.
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Re: Hsuehshan tunnel fire

Postby tommy525 » 10 May 2012, 02:11

gotta review the youtube clips but what i understand is that one vehicle had a blow out and the bus following , illegally i may add, changed lanes . Its illegal to change lanes for any reason. This bus was obviously following too close to the vehicle with the blow out to stop within the same lane.

After switching lanes the car that was in that lane couldnt stop but hit the bus that had changed lanes. It in turn was rammed by a bus following that car. The car was sandwhiched between the rear of one bus and the front of another (never a good place to be) and caught on fire as it was crushed. Both people in the car died , if not from the collision (which is very likely in such situs) then from the ensuing fire. The fire spread to the bus. There was talk that a burned body was found in the bus.

But not sure if its 3 dead (2 in the car and one on the bus) or just the two in the car.

the person most responsible for this crash is the bus following the blowout vehicle. He was too close to stop within his lane and his illegal actions in changing lanes caused the accident.

They have now reduced the speed in the tunnels because of this. Perhaps will become permanent 80kph or even reduced again to 70kph. Separations must be enforced somehow (like with big tickets sent in the mail so they will be careful in future) and speed must be enforced.

The no lane changed must be enforced.

Proper low speed, proper separation. And proper enforcement is the key.

They should have a stop light in front of the entrance of the tunnels that regulate flow, like after the toll booths one bay bridge heading into SAn Fran.

It works.

Keep the flow realistic, do not over pack the tunnels. And monitor for any traffic violation. Stiff fines sent in the mail deter future transgressions. Pulling over law breakers in the tunnels is not the thing to do. That can cause accidents too.

But a stiff fine in the mail will learn em for the next time.
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Re: Hsuehshan tunnel fire

Postby Super Hans » 10 May 2012, 02:44

I got the story - as Icon says.

Blue truck had blow out. First bus stopped. Car behind first bus stopped. Next vehicle was another bus which didn't even brake and slammed into the first bus, jamming the car in the middle.
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Re: Hsuehshan tunnel fire

Postby tommy525 » 10 May 2012, 03:03

this clip from a previous accident shows how quickly things can get out of hand . Prevention of accidents have to be better in the tunnels.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49nXEp3n8GI
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Re: Hsuehshan tunnel fire

Postby Icon » 10 May 2012, 10:06

Originally they said 3 dead, then changed to 2. There is still an elderly patient with 2nd and 3rd degree burns in intensive care. But the people in the car were burned to a crisp, really awful pics -how they allow them to shoot that beats me.

Yesterday a bus with Korean tourists almost fell in a ravine, more than a dozen hurt. My collegue says that the problem is that owners do not give enough, constant, regular, scheduled maintenance to thos ebuses. He says those services are so coveted that the turn around time does not allow for the bus to be given proper care. And all those lives are at stake... Drivers are also overworked, underfed, most do not sleep enough, as most people in Taiwan, so their reaction times are slowed down. So no wonder the last bus could not avoid teh collion. The first bus tried to avoid hitting the blue truck and made it worse.
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Re: Hsuehshan tunnel fire

Postby Taiwan Luthiers » 10 May 2012, 10:16

Icon wrote:Originally they said 3 dead, then changed to 2. There is still an elderly patient with 2nd and 3rd degree burns in intensive care. But the people in the car were burned to a crisp, really awful pics -how they allow them to shoot that beats me.

Yesterday a bus with Korean tourists almost fell in a ravine, more than a dozen hurt. My collegue says that the problem is that owners do not give enough, constant, regular, scheduled maintenance to thos ebuses. He says those services are so coveted that the turn around time does not allow for the bus to be given proper care. And all those lives are at stake... Drivers are also overworked, underfed, most do not sleep enough, as most people in Taiwan, so their reaction times are slowed down. So no wonder the last bus could not avoid teh collion. The first bus tried to avoid hitting the blue truck and made it worse.


Problem is the culture kinda want to preserve the status quo even if there is a problem. Many bus and truck drivers often complain that their employers overwork them, like having to make so much deliveries that they have to work 12 hours day, every day. During my time at FamilyMart I see the same delivery guy every day, they never seem to get any day off. Yet despite the fact that many drivers are not happy with their situation nobody would step up and demand change, because in their mind there are a lot more who wants their job.

The fact is trucking companies don't care about road safety, only how much money comes in. Don't take this to mean that ALL Taiwanese businessmen are like this, in the same environment, any Western business owners are likely going to be the same, if not worse.
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