2013/05

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Description

On Thursday, 23 June 2011, at 1436 hours, a lorry truck registered in Poland started burning in the 7.3 km long Oslofjord tunnel as a result of an engine breakdown. The danger to road users was aggravated by the tunnel's safety equipment and emergency preparedness solution not being designed for self-rescue, resulting in several road-users being trapped in the smoke. 25 of 34 road-users exited the tunnel under own power. Nine road-users were later evacuated from the tunnel by rescue crews.

The investigation has uncovered that the safety in the Oslofjord tunnel was inadequate seen against the traffic composition and growth in the tunnel. The AIBN believes that this is due to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration's safety management of the Oslofjord tunnel not capturing the relevant risk situation, and that the risk-based approach to safety and preparedness was deficient.

The AIBN has made four safety recommendations based on this investigation.

Safety recommendation

Safety recommendation ROAD No. 2013/08T

The investigation into the fire in the Oslofjord tunnel on 23 June 2011 has shown that the preconditions for the self-rescue principle were absent as a result of the tunnel's safety equipment and emergency preparedness solution, resulting in several road-users being trapped in the smoke. The AIBN points out the lack of a comprehensive assessment of the interaction between information to road-users, safety equipment, ventilation solution/smoke control, firefighting and safe road-user evacuation (self-rescue) as a basis for the tunnel's emergency preparedness plan.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, along with the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection and the fire department, reviews and updates the emergency response plans for long single-lane tunnels, including the Road Traffic Centre's routines in the event of fire, to safeguard the preconditions for the self-rescue principle.

Safety recommendation ROAD No. 2013/09T

The investigation into the fire in the Oslofjord tunnel on 23 June 2011 has uncovered that the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and Directorate for Civil Protection lacked a welldeveloped reporting system for monitoring and controlling fires and near-fires in road tunnels. This has led to missing reports, deficient analyses and an insufficient overview of the real safety level for the Oslofjord tunnel.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection establish systems for registrations of fires and near-fires in road tunnels, for use in the systematic safety work.

Safety recommendation ROAD No. 2013/10T

At the time of the accident (23 June 2011), the safety level for the Oslofjord tunnel was not satisfactory. The AIBN basis for this assertion is the gap between the tunnel’s safety equipment and emergency preparedness solution seen against traffic volume development and composition. The AIBN is of the opinion that this is connected to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration's riskbased approach to safety and deficient emergency preparedness in the tunnel.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Public Roads Administration develop its safety management system further as regards risk-based and pro-active principles to secure a satisfactory safety level for the Oslofjord tunnel and similar road tunnels.

Safety recommendation ROAD No. 2013/11T

The lorry truck fire in the Oslofjord tunnel on 23 June 2011, with a calculated fire effect of 70 – 90 MW, was extinguished in a satisfactory manner in spite of the tunnel and the capacity of the fire and rescue services only being dimensioned for a fire effect of 50 MW. The investigation has shown that the maximum fire effect for lorry truck fires ranges from 50 to 150 MW, and that rescue efforts in long and steep single-lane tunnels pose great demands on firefighters and the safety equipment of the tunnel. This, and not the dimensioning requirements for the tunnel class alone, should in the AIBN's opinion form the basis for required equipment and emergency preparedness in tunnels.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, along with the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection and the fire department, follows up and dimensions the rescue and firefighting effort to realistic fire effects and the specific design of the tunnel in question.

Location
Rv 23, The Oslofjord tunnel, Akershus
Occurrence date
23.06.2011
Accident type
Fire in vehicle
Road class
National road
County
Akershus
Police Disctrict
Follo
Vehicle type
Truck and trailer
Type of Transportation
Freight transport
Road region
Eastern Region
Accident category
Ulykke i tunnel
Skriv ut
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