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Pedestrian Behavior During Evacuation from Road Tunnel in Smoke Condition

Penelitian - In many countries, one can observe a growing tendency in the development of road tunnels. Disasters which occurred in tunnels show that safety issues are extremely important. Among many technical aspects, the human factor, namely people’s response to a danger situation is one of crucial issues.

On the one hand, tunnels are a very useful element of road infrastructure and on the other hand, one can point out some risks associated with the use of tunnels. Accidents involving buses are very dangerous in tunnels. Firstly, passengers have to leave the bus and secondly, they have to evacuate from the tunnel.

Penelitian Pedestrian Behavior During Evacuation from Road Tunnel in Smoke Condition

Over the past few years, many such accidents have been reported, for instance fire of a bus in Taojiakuang Tunnel in Weihai, Shandong Province, China, on May 9, 2017 (12 fatalities), fire of a school bus in Jack Lynch Tunnel in Cork, Ireland, on Jun 4, 2013, accident in Dullin Tunnel, France, on Jan 18, 2004 or bus fire in Homer Tunnel, New Zeland, Nov 3, 2002.

“Our main aim is to investigate the human-infrastructure interaction. Human behaviors and interactions during dangerous situations should be taken into account by tunnel designers and people responsible for the safety of tunnel operation,” said Jakub Porzycki and colleagues at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Poland.

This is the first article considering a trial evacuation of a big group of people assembled in a bus in a road tunnel in smoky conditions. People have been gathered in a bus in order to reflect a scenario, where a large group of people are faced with a dangerous situation in a smoke filled road tunnel.

Five evacuation experiments were performed in a road tunnel in order to test how pedestrians react when exposed to reduced visibility, how the decision making process is carried out, and finally what is the impact of various circumstances like different level of smokiness, competitive behavior or learning effect on an evacuation process.

During evacuation of a group of people gathered in low and moderate level of smokiness, observed multi-line patterns created by pedestrians. Decision making was engaged in only by the first group of passengers, while under heavy smokiness, have observed decision making by small groups and characteristic double-lines patterns.



“We show, that movement speed in smoke is influenced by the evacuees’ attitude and familiarity with environment and evacuation procedures and not only by the visibility level,” said Porzycki.

Journal : Porzycki et al. Pedestrian behavior during evacuation from road tunnel in smoke condition—Empirical results, PLOS ONE, August 29, 2018, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0201732

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