There is loud crunching and creaking – the tubular steel has been cut. The door operator component – solidly constructed with a wall thickness of almost a centimetre – was effortlessly severed. The hydraulic pump throbs, the rescue cutter seeks its next victim. And Michael Klaus, a true commercial vehicle enthusiast, cannot help it: “The poor bus”, groans the team leader of 2W Technische Informations GmbH & Co. KG.
We do have to feel sorry for the white MAN articulated bus, because the 18-metre giant is being mercilessly dismantled at the end of its days. And yet the end justifies the means: the 30 metre hall in the München-Freimann complex is witnessing a cutting test by the fire brigade. MAN has commissioned documentation of the best procedures for rescuers when dealing with an electric bus to enable rescue guidelines to be produced. The company 2W Technische Informations, for whom Klaus works at is bases in the München-Freimann complex, is an experienced service provider that is producing technical instructions for MAN in pictures, text and video – so also for this e-bus. Stefan Brochhausen, technical editor, is recording every step with his camera. Birgit Süssner, Ludwig Fuchs and Albert Kreutmayr – firefighters and passionate trainers – continue in the meantime to dissect the electric bus.
And with full commitment. "We're going in now," Fuchs shouts through the breathing mask and, together with Kreutmayr, both wearing personal protective gear and helmets, begins to press the doors apart brutally with the rescue spreader. Meanwhile, Süssner puts on the rescue scissors. With this she pinches off the hinge with the force of 105 tons without any problems - and then everyone is inside.