Free Press Journal

Indore: Tyre-ing: ibus front wheel comes off speeding vehicle


Passengers of an ibus had a miraculous escape on Tuesday when the spindle broke off and the front wheel on the left side of the vehicle that they were travelling in, suddenly detached from the axle. The bus came to a screeching halt, while the tyre was found nearby. The incident took place at Dewas Naka in front of an automobile showroom around noon. The bus was plying from Niranjpur to Satya Sai square. Risking lives of 15 passengers, the bus suddenly halted and caused people to fall on each other. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Passengers fled the bus which had tilted following the incident. The image of the fleet of ibus with air conditioning, promise of fast and safe community in the exclusive BRTS corridor shattered into pieces after this incident. “Spindle in the wheel suddenly broke and this caused the release of wheel,” Sandeep Soni, chief executive officer of Atal Indore City Transport Service Limited (AiCTSL) that manages ibus, said.

Spindle is a part of the suspension system that carries the hub for the wheel and attaches to the upper and lower control arms. “It is rare for a spindle to break apart, as it an internally built strong part,” Soni said. He added that it is not a part that requires regularly maintenance. “We cannot blame the maintenance team, because spindle is a part of basic machinery that generally never breaks down,” Soni said. He claimed that no such incident has ever occurred before in ibus. “We have regular maintenance of these buses and this vehicle was also checked in the morning, but this mishap could not have been predicted,” Soni said.

i-bus cases
1. March 19, 2017: 55 passengers had a narrow escape after air conditioned bus caught fire in front of Holkar Science College on BRTS corridor. Driver’s quick act saved lives.

2. September 10, 2018: CSP’s official vehicle collided with i-bus at Industry House when police vehicle took U-turn. CSP Jyoti Umath was injured. FIR registered against bus driver.

3. December 25, 2015: 10-year-old boy killed after an i-bus hit him in Silicon City. People damaged bus, which was seized. Case registered against bus driver.

Regularly maintained?
Soni claimed that the bus is checked daily before plying for the day. However, the checks include regular inspection of tyres, oil and interiors of the bus. “Spindle is an internal part that is not examined by the maintenance team,” Soni said. Since, there are checks of parts; the risk of another spindle breaking down at any point is always there. “We have outsourced maintenance to Sarco India Pvt Ltd as it is more convenient for us,” Soni said. The company is liable to check the buses daily and further conduct monthly inspections. Sadly, even the monthly inspection did not cover checking of spindle.

‘need to Consider safety and check machinery too’
Perhaps ibus is one of the most efficient, fast and supported public transport systems in the country.  However, such incidents baffle the trust of commuters as it risk their lives. A regular commuter college student Kaniksha Chowdhury expressed her fear. “I had started feeling secure in ibus, because it had good facilities, but such incidents that risk our life make us doubt the public transport system again.” “Ibus provides good facilities and earns handsome profits, so they should ensure safety of passengers and have more maintenance checks that cover machinery as well,” engineering student Sanjay Lunawat said.

possible risk
Whenever a wheel separates, there are chances of serious injury to anyone in the wheel’s path. When a wheel separation occurs in a speeding vehicle, the separated wheel is launched high in the air (because of the weight of the vehicle pushing down on it is suddenly removed) yet is hardly slowed down.

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