Report 2014/03

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Description

On Monday, 12 August 2013 at around 16:55 hours, there was a head-on collision between a Norwegian-registered tour bus and a Swedish-registered touring coach, at national road 55 (rv. 55) in Fardal in Sogndal municipality. Two passengers died and two were severely injured, in the collision with a total of 30 passengers involved. The buses overlapped in a meeting situation on a gentle curve, making the left side of each bus hit each other. The overlap was approx. 15-20 cm, and both buses got the front left side torn up, where the deceased and injured also where sitting. The investigation has shown that the construction of bus bodies in these kinds of collisions has a potential of improvement.

Rv. 55, was at the time of the accident, set up as a detour road due to the fire in the Gudvanga tunnel on E16 on 5 August 2013. The traffic density along rv. 55 were therefore higher than normal. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration established a crisis team after the tunnel fire, and they conducted an assessment of the safety at all the detour routes. No measures were implemented on the road where the collision occurred, but monitoring and traffic supervision was prioritized on two stretches utilized as detour routes. The AIBN takes a positive view of this, but believes that such assessments should also be made in connection with development of plans for the detour routes, not only after the detour has been implemented.

The AIBN presents two safety recommendations as a result of the accident.

Safety recommendation

Safety recommendation ROAD no. 2014/02T

The bus accident in Fardal on 12 August 2013 occurred on national road Rv. 55, which had been set up as a detour road due to the fire in the Gudvanga tunnel on E16 on 5 August 2013. The crisis team established after the fire conducted a safety assessment of all the detour routes. This resulted in increased monitoring and traffic supervision on two stretches utilised as detour routes. The AIBN takes a positive view of this, but believes that such assessments should also be made in connection with development of plans for the detour routes, not only after the detour has been implemented. 

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Public Roads Administration sets requirements for assessing safety in connection with preparing and revising contingency plans for detour routes.

Safety recommendation ROAD no. 2014/03T

In connection with the bus accident in Fardal on 12 August 2013, mirror fastening brackets, metal body sections and post structures on the left side of both buses penetrated into the compartment of the oncoming bus. This affected the survival space and the scope of injury/damage in the accident. The deceased person in bus A was struck directly by the mirror fastening bracket from bus B. It is the AIBN’s opinion that the extensive damage/injury and the penetration of large amounts of metal body parts in the two meeting buses pose a safety problem. Similar issues have also been proven by the Swedish accident investigation board. 

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, in cooperation with regulatory authorities in other countries and with advice from bus manufacturers, work to ensure that requirements are stipulated to better safeguard collision properties for buses in this type of collision accident. 

Location
Rv 55, Fardal i Sogn og Fjordane
Occurrence date
12.08.2013
Accident type
Head-on collision
Road class
National road
County
Sogn og Fjordane
Police Disctrict
Sogn og Fjordane
Vehicle type
Bus or coach
Type of Transportation
Passenger transport
Road region
Western Region
Accident category
Ulykke med buss
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