Der Todesbus AKA Bus 152 (RTL drama, 2000)


Reported by Carlos Wallberg, explained by Stefan Baguette:

"This film was a German television production, first shown on RTL around Easter 1997. Based on true events, this film is about a Munich route 152 bus that fell into a large hole in the road in the early 1990s. The incident occured when the tunnel of an extension to the Munich metro that was under construction gave in. The bus had been stopping at a set of traffic lights when the road opened up beneath the rear and it fell in backwards, claiming a number of lives. From what I recall, only the rear was stuck in the earth, with the front pointing skywards. In the end, the front had to be cut off for the road to be restored; the rear should be in its grave to the present day, along with some bodies that could never be retrieved.

For the film, this has been garnished with a love story; the actual incident is also shown in far more dramatic fashion than the real one - in the film, the road openes up benath the front, the bus then sits dangling on the fringe of the hole for a while before dropping into it.

A variety of buses are shown, with little attention paid to detail consistency. I have only watched this film once when it was first shown and only have vague recollections; however, I will ask some other German enthusiasts if they can supply additional information. From what I recall, there is a scene at the start of the driver's duty, shot in a bus depot of an independent Munich operator, in which a number of second generation standard German buses and/or early low floor buses can be seen.

Further on, there are scenes of the bus being driven down some road. If my memory serves me well, the exterior scenes were shot with a Mercedes-Benz O405 or MAN SL202, but the interior shots were of a first generation standard bus (most likely a Mercedes-Benz O305 or a MAN SL200).

When the bus finally vanishes into the earth, it looks suspiciously like a shoe box painted in Munich colours - and indeed a German film magazine later confirmed that for this shot a small box was painted up to look like a bus and was then filmed while sinking into a large bucket."