We spoke to the police officer in charge of the investigation and he told us so

On June 11, a Kia Seltos was involved in a serious accident on the Chhindwara-Nagpur highway, images of which were widely featured on social media. In the sad and tragic accident with several fatalities, the SUV was split in half and torn from the B-pillar on the driver’s side to the C-pillar on the driver’s side. The extent of the damage to the Seltos shocked people as reports suggested that the SUV could not have been broken in half just from the impact, and cutting devices may have been used by authorities to free the passengers. To find out what actually happened, we contacted a high-ranking police officer where the mishap occurred. Here are our findings:

According to Saunsar Police Inspector RR Dubey, the Kia Seltos was on the two-lane NH-547 at the time of the crash. One of the surviving passengers claims that a motorcyclist suddenly emerged from a dirt track on the road. In order not to hit the motorcyclist, the driver got off the road, tried to get back on the road and almost made it.

You can see from the pictures that the tires are muddy on the left side (curbside). After driving off-road, the Seltos driver made a sharp right to get back onto the road as there was a bridge directly in front of him. However, the Seltos collided with the bridge wall and the high-speed impact caused a crack in the floor. The roof seams also broke, causing the rear section to peel off.

Rapid emergency lane changes require precise inputs and sharp reflexes. Electronic safety aids such as stability control offer a safety net in such situations. This type of catastrophic failure, while rarely seen, is the result of a loss of control at high speeds resulting in a side impact that can also be seen here. The need to maintain reasonable speeds cannot be overstated and we ask our readers to drive safely, sensibly and with their seat belts at all times.

In 2021, after the update, the HTX variant of the Seltos SUV received electronic stability control, which would have been crucial to maintaining or regaining control. The Kia Seltos involved here seems to be the now discontinued Anniversary Edition HTX variant and would therefore not have had this critical safety feature. Kia continues to reserve side and head airbags for the top GTX + equipment. This incident was the result of a rare combination of factors where the energy of a high-speed impact concentrated in a small area resulted in the complete rupture of the monocoque structure, which is surprising.

It is worth mentioning that the Seltos was awarded a 3-star safety rating by the Global New Car Assessment Program (GNCAP). They tested the HTE basic variant with two front airbags. All other variants except the GTX + have the same number of airbags.

The police made sure that the car was not cut open by the authorities. Since the fuel tank is invariably placed under the back seat and the fuel lines run under the floor, no demanding ambulance service will ever attempt to cut open the floor. Instead, they remove the roof by cutting at the A, B, and C pillars to make it easier for passengers to pull out.

Unfortunately, the occupants in the rear seats did not survive the crash. However, the occupants in the front seats survived, albeit with serious injuries, presumably because of the airbags and the use of seat belts. “There was no second crash,” says Inspector Dubey. As a seasoned police officer, he knows that a second collision could have caused even more casualties and mixed up the evidence from the first crash.

Tire marks and skid marks, as well as eyewitness reports from the passengers, document the reconstruction of the accident by the police. As for the motorcyclist, Inspector Dubey estimates that the perpetrator likely escaped unscathed from the scene.

Once again we ask every member of the CarDekho family to drive carefully for our own safety.

Credit to the respective owners

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