The Crime Investigation Department (CID) said here on Wednesday that ‘faulty’ design of Volvo buses is one of the major causes for a fire which engulfed a luxury bus and claimed 45 lives near Palem in Mahbubnagar district.
Speaking to reporters, additional DGP, CID, T Krishna Prasad said that the findings shows that there is a ‘defect’ in the design of Volvo buses which do not make them road worthy. We will submit a report to the centre about this, he said.
Meanwhile, the CID sleuths on Wednesday arrested JC Uma Reddy, J C Prabhakar Reddy ,relatives of former minister J C Diwakar Reddy, and 9 others in connection with the case and produced them before the court in Wanaparthy. Later, the court granted them bail.
The arrested persons include -- Fairoz Basha, Shakeel Jabbar, Jameel Jabbar, Syed Akram Ahmed, Shabbir Khan, Amanullah Khan, Mohammed Rafeeq, J C Uma Devi and Yaseen Abdul Raheman.
The design of the Volvo bus is such that one main fuel tank of 300 litres is very close to the battery compartment, which tends to be in close proximity to the road on the right hand side of the bus.
After the bus hit the culvert, the iron pipe on the culvert railing broke and pierced into the bus, due to which sparks emanated from the battery compartment, igniting the main fuel tank, which was made of plastic, Prasad explained.
“This pipe acted like a capillary and spilled the fuel into the bus. The entire interior of the bus was made of PVC material, which is highly inflammatory. Emergency exit doors were blocked by passenger seats, in violation of rules. The owner and the operator had altered the interior design to accommodate more passengers, to maximise revenue,” he said.
“The bus manufacturer Volvo, bus owners Diwakar Road Lines and the bus operator was Jabbar travels have all made the bus endangering to harm life. Diwakar road lines and Jabbar travels forged lease document.