Fire Technology

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 451–475

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


DOI: 10.1007/s10694-011-0217-x

Cite this article as:
Fridolf, K., Nilsson, D. & Frantzich, H. Fire Technol (2013) 49: 451. doi:10.1007/s10694-011-0217-x


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.


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 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

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

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