Channel Tunnel Fire

  laurie53 08:06 12 Sep 2008

Yet again major disruption and threat to life.

Why on earth was a sprinkler system not built in?

  Quickbeam 09:10 12 Sep 2008

"UK-bound lorry, which is understood to have overturned on the shuttle train," from click here

I didn't think there would be enough sudden movement or space for that to happen.

  laurie53 10:41 12 Sep 2008

"some minor fires will turn into major explosions if you put water on them."

Agreed, particularly fuel. However, it doesn't have to be an automatic system, or a system using water only.

A system manually operated from a central control using a chemical fire suppressant, or even a cocktail, would much reduce the risk to firefighters, and would retard the spread of fire and therefore the length of subsequent disruption.

  interzone55 11:55 12 Sep 2008

you would need to hive a qualified fire fighter permanently stationed in the control room to make the decision about which suppressant to use. Before they could make that decision they'd need to know what had caused the fire. In this case it's thought to be a truck carrying Phenol. If the wrong liquid is put a chemical fire the result could be a major explosion.

Can you imagine the complexity of a system that could deliver a variety of suppressants along a couple of 50km tunnels.

On balance I think the right system is in place. Along the two tunnels are regular links to a central relief tunnel, the air in this tunnel pressurised to prevent smoke and fumes entering. this tunnel is wide enough for rescue vehicles to drive up & down.

  Quickbeam 12:12 12 Sep 2008

I wouldn't have thought Phenol would be transported in anything less than a regular road tanker, it's a very poisonous chemical.

Send for WTM... he's the hazardous substance expert.

  Woolwell 12:30 12 Sep 2008

I think that there is some confusion over which vehicle caught fire. Some sites are reporting that there was a vehicle carrying phenol near where the fire started.
I would be surprised if any vehicles actually overturned before the fire.
I do wonder what inspections are carried out on vehicles, especially lorries, before they board the train to make sure that they are in a good enoug condition to travel and are safe.

  crosstrainer 14:27 12 Sep 2008

That the fire started due to a lorry braking system overheating. How can this happen when the thing had it's engine off, and was being transported on a train?

  laurie53 20:01 12 Sep 2008

I stand by my comment.

I have fought a fire involving high explosives and toxic chemicals from behind a manually switched heavy duty drencher.

Under all normal circumstances, no matter what happens behind the drencher the fire is contained. More importantly, when you face the fire you know you have only to take one step back to regain comparative safety.

  peter99co 20:10 12 Sep 2008
  ronalddonald 00:06 13 Sep 2008

system might cause flooding, I suppose thats what the channel tunnel people thought at the time

  Quickbeam 09:27 13 Sep 2008

"A sprinkler system might cause flooding"... Being a tunnel there will plenty of pumping capacity built in.

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