Fire Technology

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 451–475 | Cite as

Fire Evacuation in Underground Transportation Systems: A Review of Accidents and Empirical Research

Article

Abstract

Previous fire accidents have shown that fires in underground transportation systems, e.g., tunnels and underground stations, can cause many fatalities. It is therefore important in fire safety design to give adequate consideration to all aspects related to evacuation. The main purpose of this paper is to provide guidance to engineers involved in the design of underground transportation systems, and to create a basis for future research in the area. A review of previously reported fire accidents and of empirical research is performed. The review of accidents is based on a theoretical framework, namely four accepted human behaviour theories, which can be used in the fire safety design of underground transportation systems. Factors important for fire evacuation in these types of facilities are also presented, and data related to these factors are summarised. The review reveals many potential solutions to commonly observed evacuation problems, but it also shows that there is room for further future research in the area.

Keywords

Underground transportation systems Rail tunnels Road tunnels Underground stations Fire Human behaviour Evacuation Egress Fire safety design Experiment Empirical research Behaviour sequences Role-rule model Affiliative model Social influence 

References

  1. 1.
    Duffé P, Marec M (1999) Task force for the technical investigation of the 24 March 1999 fire in the Mont Blanc vehicular tunnel (S. F. Luchian Trans.). Retrieved 2 July, 2008, from http://www.firetactics.com/MONTBLANCFIRE1999.htm
  2. 2.
    Voeltzel A (2002) Compared analysis of the Mont Blanc Tunnel and the Tauern Tunnel fires. PIARC WG6Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Rohlén P, Wahlström B (1996) Stora olyckor—Tunnelbaneolyckan i Baku, Azerbaijan 28 oktober 1995 [Major accidents—The subway fire in Baku, Azerbaijan 28th of October 1995] (No. P22-133/96). Karlstad: Statens räddningsverkGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Carvel R, Marlair G (2005) A history of fire incidents in tunnels. In: Beard A, Carvel R (eds) The handbook of tunnel fire safety. Thomas Telford, London, pp 1-41Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bergqvist A (2001) Rapport ifrån besöket vid brandplatsen i Kaprun, Österrike [Report from the visit at the fire scene in Kaprun, Austria]. Stockholms Brandförsvar, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Larsson S (2004) Tunnelolyckan i Kaprun 2000 [The tunnel accident in Kaprun 2000]. Försvarshögskolan, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fennell D (1988) Investigation into the King’s Cross underground fire. The Department of Transport, London. This information is licensed under the terms of the Open Government License (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/open-government-licence.htm)
  8. 8.
    Vägverket (2005) Götatunneln—ger staden nya möjligheter [Göta tunnel—providing the city with new opportunities]. Vägverket region väst, GöteborgGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Canter D, Breaux J, Sime J (1980) Domestic, multiple occupancy, and hospital fires. In: Canter D (ed) Fires and human behaviour. John Wiley & Sons Ltd., Chichester, pp 117–136Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tong D, Canter D (1985) The decision to evacuate: a study of the motivation which contribute to evacuation in the event of fire. Fire Saf J 9:257–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sime JD (1984) Escape behaviour in fires: ‘Panic’ or affiliation? PhD thesis, University of Surrey, GuilfordGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Frantzich H (2000) Utrymning av tunnelbanetåg: Experimentell utvärdering av möjligheten att utrymma i spårtunnel [Evacuation from subway trains: an experimental evaluation of the possibility to evacuate in a rail tunnel]. Räddningsverket, KarlstadGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sime J (1980) The concept of ‘Panic’. In: Canter D (ed) Fires and human behaviour. John Wiley & Sons Ltd., Chichester, pp 63–81Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sime J (1983) Affiliative behaviour during escape to building exits. J Environ Psychol 3(1):21–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sime J (1985) Movement toward the familiar—person and place affiliation in a fire entrapment setting. Environ Behav 17(6):697–724CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Latané B, Darley JM (1968) The unresponsive bystander: why doesn’t he help? Appleton-Century-Crofts, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Deutsch M, Gerard HB (1955) A study of normative and informational social influences upon individual judgment. J Abnorm Soc Psychol 51(3):629–636CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nilsson D, Johansson A (2009) Social influence during the initial phase of a fire evacuation—analysis of evacuation experiments in a cinema theatre. Fire Saf J 44(1):71–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Proulx G (2008) Movement of people: the evacuation timing. In: DiNenno PJ (ed) The SFPE handbook of fire protection engineering, 4th edn. National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, pp 3-355–3-372Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Shields J (2005) Human behaviour in tunnel fires. In: Beard A, Carvel R (eds) The handbook of tunnel fire safety. Thomas Telford Publishing, LondonGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Donald I, Canter D (1990) Behavioural aspects of the King’s cross disaster. In: Donald I (ed) Fires and human behaviour, 2nd edn. David Fulton, London, pp 15–30Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Andersen T, Paaske BJ (2002) Railroad and metro runnel accidents. Retrieved 21 June, 2010, from http://www.lotsberg.net/artiklar/andersen/en_table_1.html
  23. 23.
    Fermaud C, Jenne P, Müller W (1995) Fire in a commuter train—rescue procedures as perceived by passengers. Paper presented at the 2nd international conference on safety in road and rail tunnels in Grenada, Spain. Independent Technical Conferences, BedfordGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Dix A (2010) Tunnel fire safety in Australasia. Paper presented at the 4th international symposium on tunnel safety and security in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, BoråsGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Johnson P, Barber D (2007) Burnley tunnel fire—the Arup view. Retrieved 2 July, 2010, from http://www.fpaa.com.au/docs/burnley.pdf
  26. 26.
    Kissane K (2007) Eyewitness accounts of how a broken down truck led to tragedy in the tunnel. The Age, Saturday, March 24, 2007, 4Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Proulx G (2003) Playing with fire: understanding human behaviour in burning buildings. ASHRAE J 45(7):33–35Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Proulx G, Sime J (1991) To prevent ‘panic’ in an underground emergency: why not tell people the truth? Paper presented at the third international symposium on fire safety science, Edinburgh, ScotlandGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Fahy RF, Proulx G, Aiman L (2009) ‘Panic’ and human behaviour in fire. Paper presented at the fourth international symposium on human behaviour in fire, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Rogsch C, Schreckenberg M, Tribble E, Klingsch W, Kretz T (2008) Was It panic? An overview about mass-emergencies and their origins all over the world for recent years. In: Klingsch WWF Rogsch C, Schadschneider A, Schreckenberg M (eds) Pedestrian and evacuation dynamics 2008. Springer, London, pp 743–755Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Canter D, Powell J, Booker K (1988) Psychological aspects of informative fire warning systems (No. BR127). Building Research Establishment, GarstonGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Bellamy L, Geyer T (1990) Experimental programme to investigate informative fire warning characteristics for motivating fast evacuation (No. BR172). Building Research Establishment, GarstonGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Nilsson D (2006) Utformning av talade utrymningsmeddelanden—erfarenheter från en enkätundersökning och oannonserade utrymningsförsök [Design of pre-recorded fire evacuation messages—experiences gained from a questionnaire study and unannounced evacuation experiments] (No. 3139). Lund University, LundGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Boer LC, Veldhuijzen van Zanten DW (2005) Behaviour on tunnel fire. In: Waldau N, Gattermann P, Knoflacher H, Screckenberg M (eds) Pedestrian and evacuation dynamics 2005. Springer, Berlin, pp 91–98Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Norén A, Winér J (2003) Modelling crowd evacuation from road and train tunnels—data and design for faster evacuations (No. 5127). Department of Fire Safety Engineering, Lund University, LundGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Nilsson D, Johansson M, Frantzich H (2009) Evacuation experiment in a road tunnel: a study of human behaviour and technical installations. Fire Saf J 44(4):458–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Oswald M, Lebeda C, Schneider U, Kirchberger H (2005) Full-scale evacuation experiments in a smoke filled rail carriage—a detailed study of passenger behaviour under reduced visibility. In: Waldau N, Gattermann P, Knoflacher H, Screckenberg M (eds) Pedestrian and evacuation dynamics 2005. Springer, Berlin, pp 41–55Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Oswald M, Kirchberger H, Lebeda C (2008) Evacuation of a high floor metro train in a tunnel situation: experimental findings. In: Klingsch WWF, Rogsch C, Schadschneider A, Schreckenberg M (eds) Pedestrian and evacuation dynamics 2008. Springer, London, pp 67–81Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Galea ER, Gwynne S (2000) Estimating the flow rate capacity of an overturned rail carriage end exit in the presence of smoke. Fire Mater 24(6):291–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Frantzich H, Nilsson D (2004) Evacuation experiments in a smoke filled tunnel. Paper presented at the third international symposium on human behaviour in fire, Belfast, UKGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Jin T (1976) Visibility through fire smoke (No. 42): report of Fire Research Institute of JapanGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    McClintock T, Shields TJ, Reinhardt-Rutland AH, Leslie JC (2001) A behavioural solution to the learned irrelevance of emergency exit signage. Paper presented at the second international symposium on human behaviour in fire, Boston, USAGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Jin T, Yamada T, Kawai S, Takahashi S (1991) Evaluation of the conspicuousness of emergency exit signs. Paper presented at the third international symposium on fire safety science, Edinburgh, ScotlandGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Fransson E (2008) Utrymningsskyltar—Vilka faktorer påverkar om en utrymningsskylt är lätt att uppfatta eller ej? [Exit signs—what are the factors affecting the ability to perceive an exit sign?] (No. 5287). Lund University, LundGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Nilsson D, Frantzich H, Saunders W (2005) Coloured flashing lights to mark emergency exits—experiences from evacuation experiments. Paper presented at the eighth international symposium on fire safety science, Beijing, ChinaGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Nilsson D, Frantzich H, Saunders W (2008) Influencing exit choice in the event of a fire evacuation. Paper presented at the ninth international symposium on fire safety science, Karlsruhe, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Wickens CD, Hollands JG (2000) Engineering psychology and human performance, 3rd edn. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems SafetyLund UniversityLundSweden

Personalised recommendations