Driver burned to death in his bus

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Skexis
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Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by Skexis »

I'm guessing most of you have heard about this by now. The fact this could happen anywhere is unbelievable but to have it happen in Australia stuns me to be honest. Although based in Brisbane Maneet was known to a few Lonsdale drivers in Adelaide and last weekend was in Adelaide singing at one of the Indian festivals. He will be missed by many. RIP.

http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/1 ... d=9newsbfb

I'm of the opinion that there should be some kind of national action to mark this. One day across Australia where no bus runs, one day when every driver in every depot does not work, one day when everyone in Australia is forced to take notice.
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by CCCC »

Be forgotten in a day or two unlike Dreamworld were the media wants to bring a big business down and where theres big money.
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by moreton »

Manmeet was attacked after he pulled into the bus stop to pick up 3 intending passengers when one dowsed him with a significant amount of petrol and them lit it up. A Yellow Taxi Driver saw the passengers trapped inside the burning bus and managed to break open the back door of the bus and save them.
The perpetrator stood by and waited for emergency services to arrive, he was known to Police and made threats of harming people before, possibly he may have a few mental health issues also.
As a sign of respect some others drivers are wearing a black armband on the left arm and having a"LIGHTS ON" on Wednesday for him also, so please feel free to join with all bus drivers Australia wide if your management allows you. Condolences to his family and all colleagues in Australia and India.
R.I.P Manmeet (Manni)
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by Alstom 888M »

This really hits home. It could have been any one of us. I certainly will be wearing a black armband next week(I drive with my headlights on at all times regardless). I hope the murderer get what's coming. He needs to made an example of. Getting assaulted is already part of the job, lets not make getting murdered part of the job as well.

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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by tonyp »

I would like this terrible tragedy to be the trigger for a complete review of bus safety, both for drivers and passengers - and the cue should be taken from tram design.

There are two issues:

1. Australian bus driver cockpits tend to be totally unprotected against attack on the driver, unlike tram drivers who are in locked cabins. In urban buses in all Australian cities, as far as I know, fare systems are now prepaid or tap-on and there is no longer a need to interact with the driver, just like in a tram. If there is a need to do a transaction with the driver there are security techniques to manage this, as one would find in secure teller positions in banks, ticket windows etc nowadays. The driver's position in a bus needs a screen and the solid perspex type is probably the best for all situations. Open grilles (such as used in Perth) don't protect against incidents like yesterday's or lesser ones like spitting. Some means for the driver to escape via the offside, such as a hatch or manhole-sized window, would also be desirable.

2. The other horrifying thing about this incident is that the passengers were trapped in a burning bus with the driver disabled and unable to let them out. I suspect that this scenario has been overlooked in existing risk-management assessments and an assumption made that the only source of fire would be the engine at the back. I don't know what emergency exit provisions there are in this bus but they were quite obviously nullified by thick smoke and the passengers were completely trapped and would have died if the taxi driver hadn't kicked open the door (and that task sounded as though it was very difficult for him - the door kept trying to reclose) and if a less able person was there or the bus was isolated out on the road with no people around, the outcome would have been certain.

In a tram at a stop, the interlocks for all the doors are released and, even if all the doors aren't actually open, they can be opened by passengers with a button.

One procedural question was why was the centre door shut when the bus was at a bus stop? Anybody who directs drivers not to open other doors on urban buses in Australia came close yesterday to being indirectly responsible for the deaths of several people. It should have either been open or at least the interlock released so that it could be opened with a door-release button. A fatal procedural and design flaw. Secondly, where is the back window that can be kicked out? For generations, urban buses in Australia had a back window that could either be hinged open in an emergency or, later, kicked out. Urban buses in Europe have back windows. Why were they removed in Australia? Another fatal design flaw.

I hope this poor driver's death will not be in vain. I think he was failed by a slack institutional attitude (for both procedure and design) towards the safety of drivers and passengers. How close they came yesterday to losing all the passengers too makes me shudder, again because of systemic failure.

What I'm saying here applies nationally, not just in Queensland.
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by burrumbus »

tonyp.Back windows no longer being included on most bus designs,whether track bus,school bus or coach was driven purely by cost.It's cheaper to have no window.
I agree with your safety angle re the windows.Also the rear panel,combined with very heavy window tinting tends to create a darker,more claustrophobic feel in the sallon of the bus.
We live in a sad society when a driver just going about his daily work gets murdered in this horrific way.
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by tonyp »

I don't know if this is the same type of bus:

Image

but the emergency exit is in the worst possible place for a fire at the front. I recall seeing these exits usually in the middle of the bus but I wonder if it was moved to one end to cater for AOA (which would make it hard if not impossible to break a window). If so, that's pretty appalling. That's another thing that needs reviewing.

I sometimes wonder also how somebody would break one of these windows without a hard implement - and if there's some sort of tool next to it, how would you locate it when the bus is filling up with smoke? I gather the passengers were already down on the floor when the taxi driver let them out. What they needed was a door-open button beside the door at no higher than waist height and the door mandatorily pre-unlocked (if not already actually opened) by the driver at a stop.

Apart from the dreadful circumstances of the driver, the other aspect of this incident is that 11 passengers were nearly lost basically because of bus design and operation issues. As no passenger died, I imagine the coroner's enquries would be limited to the driver, thus the other safety aspects are likely to escape rigorous scrutiny until next time around.
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by captainch »

I totally agree with mortens comments but it should be brought to the notice of radio talk back/t.v news/newspapers as not all bus coach drivers know about this forum IVE CONTACTED the above in my local city in nth qld which as only one bus company maybe contact the local bus owners society in each state to contact members! my thoughts & prayers go with his fellow drivers at Brisbane city council & his family may he rest in peace its been a very bad week for us QUEENSLANDERS FIRST DREAM WORLD NOW THIS! :shock: :cry:
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by moreton »

I would like to thank the above members for posting your comments, as usual the cost savings of the almighty dollar has given way to how the world now operates. With permission I would like to print out and pass onto the state/ federal authorities of how trying to save a few dollars on a bus fleet build, that your quite valid observations/ comments are quite true.
No back windows, the door release button inside and outside were of no use to a smoke filled bus, the roof hatches are of no use unless the bus is on its side, unless the Taxi-driver was on the scene there may have been a different outcome.
Many drivers have made reference to the interlockers now on front doors and rear doors of new models as a safety precaution are unsafe and make it difficult to move the vehicle in an emergency.
Overlooking design faults, safety concerns have shown us that this needs further attention.
This unfortunate incident has shown that this needs urgent attention and revisiting as soon as possible.
Thank you all for noticing and making your valid comments on this matter.
Moreton :(
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by tonyp »

I'm quite happy for you to use my comments Moreton. This is a national issue too.

Out of interest, you refer to door-open buttons inside and out. Does this class of bus have these on the centre door? Are these just emergency buttons or can they be used to open the door when it's unlocked from the interlock? What I'm getting at is that all doors should be unlocked at a stop so that, even if they're not open, a passenger can open the door with a button. These systems should also have a backup battery in case they go down in the fire.

In my experience these buttons tend to be backlit with intense LED lights so that they can be seen through smoke. They're something that should be mandatory on all route buses, as well as individual CCTV cameras monitoring the other doors for the driver. Hope these comments help.

This is a horrifying incident and I hope it will be a wake-up call. I feel so sorry for the driver, his family and his community. What is worse is that several passengers would have been added to the fatalities if it was not outside a shopping centre with an alert and capable person on the footpath.
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by busrider »

Typically, buses with a centre door will have an emergency exit button above the door, which either opens the door, or releases it so it can be pushed open. These buttons do not require "unlocking" by the driver as you seem to think, they can be used any time the bus is stationary. I would advise against using these buttons in a non-emergency situation, since it does trigger an alarm on certain bus types.
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by tonyp »

busrider wrote:Typically, buses with a centre door will have an emergency exit button above the door, which either opens the door, or releases it so it can be pushed open. These buttons do not require "unlocking" by the driver as you seem to think, they can be used any time the bus is stationary. I would advise against using these buttons in a non-emergency situation, since it does trigger an alarm on certain bus types.
A bit of confusion in the discussion. Of course the doors are interlocked while the bus is stationary. This means they're able to be opened and there needs to be a button to enable passengers/rescuers to do this, which as you advise there is. The problem then is that the button in this case is located too high, above the smokeline. Typically door-open buttons are at waist level, often on the door itself. It shouldn't just be an emergency button, it should be available and allowable for people to open the door while it's at the stop. That's what I'm saying. And it should be brightly lit so that it can be seen through smoke, e.g.

Edit: doing a picture search I see the Gold Coast trams have exactly what I'm talking about.

Image
Image
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by simonl »

tonyp wrote:1. In urban buses in all Australian cities, as far as I know, fare systems are now prepaid or tap-on and there is no longer a need to interact with the driver, just like in a tram.
You know this part is untrue, tonyp. How about we reach that goal though!?
tonyp wrote:One procedural question was why was the centre door shut when the bus was at a bus stop?
Good question. This is was couple of kms from where I lived a few years ago. It's hardly a rough part of town and the buses are pretty busy there.

Could be as simple as no one wanting to get off and no rear door entry.
tonyp wrote:I sometimes wonder also how somebody would break one of these windows without a hard implement - and if there's some sort of tool next to it,
There is a hammer next to the windows for smashing them open. With a cable to lock it to the bus so it can't be stolen.

I can't say I've ever noticed the exit configuration. I'd wonder how that was legal. Most of the bus is a cave with only one way out - to the front. They couldn't redesign the 747 with passengers in front of the first doors from scratch today, for example. Derivative designs are grandfathered in.

Perhaps the smoke made an exit button on the centre door hard to find? I can't think of where it is.
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by Bovways »

tonyp wrote:In urban buses in all Australian cities, as far as I know, fare systems are now prepaid or tap-on and there is no longer a need to interact with the driver
Cash fares can still be bought on all bus services in the Sydney Metro / Outer Metro Opal area, except for those "Pre-Paid Only" services. The 'single trip Opal fares' on buses are still a thermo paper ticket generated after you've handed cash to the driver.
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by tranzitjim »

First off, may I express my complete horror and shock at this event.


As a follow on to other posts above, I wish to ask, does this bus in fact have a middle door?

It is surprising how many bus operators have full sized buses, but no middle door.


One good thing I hope to come out of this is, it should be a requirement of all larger buses to have a rear or middle door of which can be used in an emergency.

It is not only fire from the engine that is an inherent risk, but also the front of the bus could hit something hard and crumble. Resulting in the front door not being useful at all.
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by tonyp »

Bovways wrote:
Cash fares can still be bought on all bus services in the Sydney Metro / Outer Metro Opal area, except for those "Pre-Paid Only" services. The 'single trip Opal fares' on buses are still a thermo paper ticket generated after you've handed cash to the driver.
OK, but as I said above, provision for that can be incorporated into the design of a security screen.
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by simonl »

tonyp wrote:
Bovways wrote:
Cash fares can still be bought on all bus services in the Sydney Metro / Outer Metro Opal area, except for those "Pre-Paid Only" services. The 'single trip Opal fares' on buses are still a thermo paper ticket generated after you've handed cash to the driver.
OK, but as I said above, provision for that can be incorporated into the design of a security screen.
Just get rid of cash ASAP. PayPass is great.
tranzitjim wrote:As a follow on to other posts above, I wish to ask, does this bus in fact have a middle door?
Did you read the article? A taxi driver kicked in the middle door.
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by boronia »

tonyp wrote:I don't know if this is the same type of bus:

Image

but the emergency exit is in the worst possible place for a fire at the front. I recall seeing these exits usually in the middle of the bus but I wonder if it was moved to one end to cater for AOA (which would make it hard if not impossible to break a window). If so, that's pretty appalling. That's another thing that needs reviewing.
This is not a bus related issue. Some loony with a bottle of petrol could unleash such damage anywhere.

Most bus fires seem to occur at the rear of the bus, being engine dependent. The window exits are designed primarily for incidents that result in the door(s) being blocked or rendered unopenable. I wonder just how many unlikely scenarios like this one can be dreamed up to be incorporated into bus design. "Murphy's law" is a big factor here. There is a fire extinguisher at the front of the bus to deal with possible electrical fires in that area, but it is dependent on someone bring able to use it

No doubt, some state of federal safety agencies would be investigating this incident, so perhaps lobbying these groups with suggestions may be one way of getting some action.

No matter how many safety devices there are, they are of no use unless passengers know they are there and how to use them. Maybe airline style announcements at every stop; but we know how much notice those passengers take of them.
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by Lt. Commander Data »

This is one of the most shocking incidents I've heard of regarding an assult on a bus driver.

My thoughts and condolences with the driver and his family, as well as all the passengers and their families, who are no doubt feeling terrible.

Just "a few" of my thoughts on the discussion here.
Skexis wrote:I'm of the opinion that there should be some kind of national action to mark this. One day across Australia where no bus runs, one day when every driver in every depot does not work, one day when everyone in Australia is forced to take notice.
I think that idea would work pretty well - even extend it to train and tram drivers as well. People would definitely notice that, but there would need to be a central body that coordinates it, like a union, but more of a charity/foundation.
tonyp wrote:I would like this terrible tragedy to be the trigger for a complete review of bus safety, both for drivers and passengers - and the cue should be taken from tram design.
There should definitely be a review, but a bus is not a tram, so should not be designed as such. Buses should either be 100% high-floor (coaches) or 100% low-floor (metro), otherwise the body build quality seems to be crap. On a bus there should be more seats than a tram and less standing room, as people are more likely to be on it for longer. I'm sure there are some aspects that buses could take from trams though - all door entry/exit would be a start.
tonyp wrote:1. Australian bus driver cockpits tend to be totally unprotected against attack on the driver, unlike tram drivers who are in locked cabins. In urban buses in all Australian cities, as far as I know, fare systems are now prepaid or tap-on and there is no longer a need to interact with the driver, just like in a tram. If there is a need to do a transaction with the driver there are security techniques to manage this, as one would find in secure teller positions in banks, ticket windows etc nowadays. The driver's position in a bus needs a screen and the solid perspex type is probably the best for all situations. Open grilles (such as used in Perth) don't protect against incidents like yesterday's or lesser ones like spitting. Some means for the driver to escape via the offside, such as a hatch or manhole-sized window, would also be desirable.
Most cities' ticketing systems allow for "singletrip" tickets to be bought from the driver. In Adelaide "daytrip" tickets can also be purchased from the driver. Another issue with having the driver completely isolated is when a passenger has a query about something, which is quite often when no one reads the desto. Having a fully-enclosed driver cab could lead to a lot more confused and angry passengers. Some drivers I've spoken to also don't like being enclosed in the cab, feeling a bit claustraphobic.

But on the other hand, drivers of buses shouldn't have worse conditions than that of train and tram drivers. They are all doing essentially the same job in the end. A solution to all problems mentioned above would be to reinstate conductors, but they would be at the same risk that bus drivers are currently.
tonyp wrote:In a tram at a stop, the interlocks for all the doors are released and, even if all the doors aren't actually open, they can be opened by passengers with a button.

One procedural question was why was the centre door shut when the bus was at a bus stop? Anybody who directs drivers not to open other doors on urban buses in Australia came close yesterday to being indirectly responsible for the deaths of several people. It should have either been open or at least the interlock released so that it could be opened with a door-release button. A fatal procedural and design flaw..
As mentioned above, if no one wants to get off the driver will not open the centre doors. No point, with only front-door loading. It also lets the cold air in during winter and the hot air in during summer. As for having an interlock with the driver then a passenger operated door, we left that behind 25 years ago with hgih-floors. You simply wait for the light to go green then push the door open.
tranzitjim wrote: As a follow on to other posts above, I wish to ask, does this bus in fact have a middle door?

It is surprising how many bus operators have full sized buses, but no middle door.
There are many reasons why a bus won't have a middle door. It has already been established that the bus involved in the incident had one, but here are a few reasons why some buses won't have a centre door:

- More seating. Some circumstances make it more convienient to have more seats than doors, for example on long-distance limited-stop or express routes where dwell time at a bus stop isn't an issue. It also means they can get more passengers on and therefore make more money - bus companies are not charities, rather money making businesses. While no safety corners should be cut to make money, it doesn't mean they will have a centre door when it is not needed.

-Safety. There are some areas where there could be potential hazards in having a middle door, especially in hilly regions where there may be a ditch near the bus stop, but not where the driver stopped the front of the bus. I know someone who got off a bus and fell down a ditch, breaking a leg.

-Charter/Coach. In these circumstances there is almost no need to have a centre door. Charters are designed to have as many people seated as possible, often schools will not allow students to stand due to some OHS bullsh*t. Coaches are the same, and dewll times at stops are not an issue so having one dorr is sufficient.
tranzitjim wrote:One good thing I hope to come out of this is, it should be a requirement of all larger buses to have a rear or middle door of which can be used in an emergency.
Certainly all artics should have a front and rear door (not necessarily centre though), same with 14.5s (front and centre), but for regular rigids (12.5m, 12m, 11.7m, 11.5m, 11m, etc) it's probably not necessary. There should be a back window in every bus that can be used in an emergency though, and having a back window makes teh bus feel less cave-ey as well.
tranzitjim wrote:It is not only fire from the engine that is an inherent risk, but also the front of the bus could hit something hard and crumble. Resulting in the front door not being useful at all.


If that happens there are roof hatches and windows that can be smashed. In that scenario there will probably not be any smoke to obscure the "Emergency Exit" signs.

Regarding the low-life that lit the fire, there is a news story here http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/1 ... umb-lawyer. It certainly sounds like he has some mental health issues, but I think he should still be thrown in jail for good. What he did is unforgiveable.
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by Roderick Smith »

The conversation has been picked up in tramway circles too: emergency exits from trams.
There have been earlier discussions in railway forums re the locking of doors on trains and incineration. India and Egypt have bars over windows, and this resulted in the deaths of hundreds in an Egyptian train fire.

Here are two more links to the main event:
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensl ... sdiyz.html
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensl ... sdlx1.html

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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by Tim Williams »

I have not read through all the comments, but this is a most dreadful event, the poor man came to this country no doubt thinking it was a safe and wonderful place with great potential for a good future. He was apparently a very popular person, singing as well as bus driving - as I have said a dreadful event. I hope the punishment to the misguided idiot to who did this is strong, long and harsh - I would hate to see a defence based on reduced mental capacity etc. that sees him avoid a long punishment.

My sincere condolences to all the family and friends of this poor man.
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by boronia »

busrider wrote:Typically, buses with a centre door will have an emergency exit button above the door, which either opens the door, or releases it so it can be pushed open. These buttons do not require "unlocking" by the driver as you seem to think, they can be used any time the bus is stationary. I would advise against using these buttons in a non-emergency situation, since it does trigger an alarm on certain bus types.
It is likely to apply the parking brake, so doing it while the bus is moving may be quite dramatic.
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by tonyp »

boronia wrote: This is not a bus related issue. Some loony with a bottle of petrol could unleash such damage anywhere.
It's very much a bus-related issue. The ADRs haven't considered a scenario where the driver is disabled, the bus is on fire and passengers can't access the existing emergency exit provisions. Changing from a button about the door to an illuminated button on the door is really not an epic change to make and uses existing proven technology. And driver screens, even allowing cash transactions, have been fitted in buses around the world for years. Nothing new or radical either.
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Re: Driver burned to death in his bus

Post by boronia »

The "button above the door" has traditionally been a mechanical method of disconnecting the mechanisms that open or close the doors. In most cases this has involved dumping the air in the cylinders. There should also be a similar release on the outside of the bus - Sydney buses have them, I don't understand why Brisbane's don't?.

I don't think this could be achieved by having a button on the door, without requiring some electrical connection, which may not be acceptable if electrical power could be lost in an incident. Anything that is too easy to operate just attracts the ratbags.
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