The city passenger bus fire, similar to which had been experienced before, once again made the Chamber of Mechanical Engineers "WARNED".
The natural gas passenger bus belonging to Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality with the number of 41 line numbered 321 BR 500, which makes public transportation between Izmit and Gebze, caught fire while traveling at the exit of Hereke on the D-100 Highway, the driver of the vehicle notified the fire brigade by downloading the passengers in the vehicle, until the fire crew intervened the vehicle. bus completely burned. There was no loss of life in the mentioned vehicle fire.
This event is not the first; According to the reports in the press, natural gas buses with license plate 08 BR 2017 on September 41, 290 and plate number 13 BR 2017 on July 41, 203 in our province were also burned in the same way. Similar accidents have occurred in other provinces.
In public transport; Although we have repeatedly stated that maritime and rail means of transportation are more popular, more reliable, more comfortable and cheaper, it is seen that trying to solve the transportation problem only by road makes the problem even more intractable.
We would like to mention that; While the use of natural gas vehicles in public transportation pollutes the environment less than other fossil fuel vehicles, it should not cause disasters due to lack of supervision. The loss of life and property will not only cause economic damage to the public, but also cause our citizens to face vital risks.
WE HAVE WARNED TIMES THROUGH THE PRESS ...
As we stated in our press release in 2018, the same risk is possible for approximately 336 natural gas buses belonging to Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality used in public transportation. While the CNG impermeability controls of these vehicles were carried out by our Chamber in the previous years, today they carry thousands of passengers every day without being subject to sufficient inspection. Due to the sensitivity of the issue, the public was informed through the press.
WE HAVE ALSO WARNED THE KOCAELİ MUNICIPALITY IN WRITING AND WITH OUR VISITS ...
In addition, Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality ULAŞIMPARK A.Ş. With our letter (EKTEDİR) containing the “Our views and suggestions regarding the inspection of CNG buses” addressed to the GENERAL DIRECTORATE and corporate visits, ULAŞIMPARK A.Ş. The seriousness of the situation was explained to the AUTHORITIES.
The event that took place reminded us once again the importance of public control. The 'Fire Detection and Alarm Systems', which are mandatory in the M2 and M3 category, that is, vehicles with more than eight seats except the driver for passenger transport, which are defined by the Regulation on the Production, Modification and Installation of Vehicles (AİTM) in force, are also periodically controlled and It should also be checked whether it continues. In addition, vehicle drivers and officers must have sufficient knowledge of possible dangers and risks.
As the Chamber of Mechanical Engineers (MMO), we would like to share with the public some issues related to LPG / CNG vehicle conversion and controls in order to prevent possible serious incidents in terms of life and property safety of the society.
THE LOSS OF THE GAS SEALING REPORT HAS BEEN REDUCED TO A LIGHT DEFECT. SEALING CHECKS ALMOSTALLY NOT PERFORMED.
Regarding the inspections and controls carried out in the name of public safety at the Chamber of Mechanical Engineers LPG / CNG Sealing Stations in every corner of our country; With the Circular dated 19.12.2011 of the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, General Directorate of Highway Regulation, the obligation to search for a "Gas Tightness Report" for vehicles with LPG and CNG for vehicles with LPG and CNG was lifted, and the absence of gas tightness reports changed from "flaw" to "slight flaw". This situation has led to the "arbitrariness" of the users of LPG vehicles and since the beginning of January 2012, there has been a serious decrease in the number of gas tightness control. While Leakage Control Reports were issued for 2011 vehicles in 103.481 by our Sealing Stations, which are only in the Chamber of Mechanical Engineers Kocaeli Branch, this number decreased by 70% to 2013 at the end of 30700.
With the amendment to the regulation on June 24, 2017, the requirement to obtain leakage control and impermeability report in LPG / CNG vehicles was completely removed and the reliability of the vehicles using these fuels was completely uncontrolled. After 2014, the number of leakage control and leakage reports is almost nonexistent.
INCOMPATIBLE CONVERSION KITS, UNSUPERED VEHICLE CONVERSIONS ...
With this change in the regulation, the control authority of our Chamber was completely removed; The auditing and control procedures carried out by our chamber in an impartial manner, taking into account the public interests, are left to the initiative of the commercial companies operating in the sector and which will increasingly operate without supervision. With this practice, illegal LPG / CNG SOE and material entry into the country increased non-standard domestic production, unsuitable LPG / CNG vehicle conversions started, unfair competition conditions were created, and the employment of authorized engineers decreased; The lack of discipline and control in the sector has reached the highest level.
With the statements made many times by our chamber center and other MMO branches, it has been said that not requesting "Gas Impermeability Report" from LPG / CNG vehicles is a decision that will cause disasters and these statements have been published many times in the media. However, even the accidents that were reflected in the public opinion at the point reached and often resulted in death did not ensure that the issue was taken into consideration by those responsible and did not encourage them to step back from the application in question.
Without further loss of life and property, returning to the inspections that were eliminated, the registration of the fuel conversion company from MMO, the employment of an engineer with an authorization certificate in the company, the inspection of the materials used in the conversion after the assembly, the impermeability controls of the gas installation, such as MMO, It should be ensured that it is carried out by institutions that prioritize and are far from commercial concerns.
As of December 2020, the result of the removal of the LPG / CNG Impermeability Report requirement based on Periodic Controls, which enables to increase the reliability of nearly 5 million (4.810.018) LPG / CNG vehicles; In terms of public life and property safety, many vehicle fires and loss of life between 2000-2005 bring to mind a picture similar to the loss of life.
Conversion of vehicles to LPG / CNG and the deterioration of the level and discipline reached in the control of the relevant market should be regarded as the biggest sign of danger, the implementation should be reviewed immediately, and neutral audits should be urgently returned for public safety without any bigger disasters.