2012/05

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Summary

Train 62 from Bergen to Oslo ran into a snow tunnel which had caught fire. The train lost power as a result of catenary power loss just before entering Hallingskeid station. At the same time the driver noticed the fire in the east end of the snow tunnel. The train stopped in front of the fire, but due to loss of power the train was unable to back out. All passengers were evacuated, and there were no personal injuries. There were large material damages, the train was totally wrecked and the entire infrastructure in the snow tunnel was damaged. It took more than 6 hours before the emergency services had heavy equipment transported to Hallingskeid.

Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) has not been able to establish a clear and demonstrable direct cause of the fire. However that the greatest fire risk in snow tunnels is hot work, electrical installations or glowing particles from trains.

Based on the investigation AIBN considers that the hot work is the probable triggering event that lead to the fire.

AIBN sees weaknesses in the Railway Administration's procedures for hot work regarding requirements for risk analysis and control after hot work.

The Railway Administration's readiness to transport fire crews and equipment to the accident site showed significant deficiencies in the fire at Hallingskeid.

Accident Investigation Board Norway issues two safety recommendations as a result of the investigation.

AIBN advices the Railway Administration to consider possible measures to upgrade the fire protection of existing snow tunnels.

AIBN advices the Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning to take greater responsibility for coordinating that fire safety and emergency preparedness in inaccessible places on the railroad fulfill expectations.

Location
Hallingskeid Station
Occurrence date
16.06.2011
Train No
62
Type of Transportation
Passenger train
Type of occurrence
Fire and smoke development
Rolling Stock
Multippel Unit (MU)
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