Bollywood movie star Amitabh Bachchan had a few scary moments last week, when the rear wheel of the BMW luxury car he was traveling in came off. The incident took place on Dufferin road in Kolkata, when Mr. Bachchan was traveling in the BMW, along with West Bengal state minister Sabrata Mukherjee.
Mr. Bachchan was in Kolkata for the 23rd Kolkata International Film Festival on November 10 and was returning to the airport on the 11th, when the accident happened. Nobody was injured, and the travel agency that provided the BMW is under investigation.
A senior official of the state secretariat had this to say,
The wheel on the left rear-end of the BMW carrying Bachchan got detached from the vehicle on Dufferin Road when he was going to the airport to catch a flight for Mumbai on Saturday morning. The car was provided by a travel agency and we have show-caused it over the incident.
An initial investigation has revealed that the fitness certificate of the car had expired at the time of the incident. Mr. Bachchan had to use the minister’s escort car to reach the airport. The actor hasn’t made any comment on the incident yet.
A wheel coming off a moving car is very dangerous, and points to serious lapses in maintenance. This could have easily caused serious injuries, not only to the occupants of the car, but also to other road users. Wheels are secured to the hub with multiple bolts and are designed to stay attached even in case of tyre bursts.
Only a detailed investigation can reveal as to why exactly the wheel came off, that too on a high-end, high-quality BMW. This incident also goes on to show that any car, however high-end it may be, is only as good as the way it’s maintained. Prompt maintenance is critical for the reliable and safe function of any mechanical device, and a car is no different.