[Letters] How to ensure the safety of CNG buses

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[Letters] How to ensure the safety of CNG buses

Aug. 9 marked the second anniversary of the pressure vessel catastrophe of the CNG bus located in Haengdang-dong, eastern Seoul. Can anyone say, “A crisis can be an opportunity?” Having been recognized for being friendly to the environment, the CNG bus is once more being considered as a safe form of transportation, thanks to a system that has been carefully set up to ensure the maximum level of safety possible.

After the accident, the government took comprehensive measures of the CNG automobile by evaluating its production and carried on a meticulous inspection normally performed only every three to four years. As the cause of the accident is believed to have come from the vessel’s lock, the pressure vessels of the 6078 CNG buses have been replaced.

If the outer temperature of the pressure vessel rises, the internal pressure rises as well. Many ask if there are any necessary precautions to take because of this, especially during the summer. There is no need to worry. The charging pressure of the 1867 old CNG buses has been diminished to 30 percent - from 207 bar to 145 bar, and the same goes for the new buses.

In order to make the CNG bus as safe as possible, it is first important for the vehicle manufacturers to take full responsibility in caring for the pressure vessels. It is also vital for the bus companies to thoroughly know about the design and manufactures of the pressure vessels and for them to contribute to periodic inspection. Through these steps, the safety of CNG buses can be guaranteed.

by Baek An-sun, chief inspector of the CNG Transportation Safety Authority

* Letters and commentaries for publication should be addressed “Letters to the Editor.” E-mailed letters should be sent to eopinion@joongang.co.kr.

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