Survey of Literature on Escape from Underground Spaces
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 16-1 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8569, Japan
Received:May 3, 2007Accepted:June 3, 2007Published:August 1, 2007
Keywords:underground spaces, tunnel, mine, escape, hazard
Based on a survey of the literatures on 22 cases of evacuation from underground spaces, we analyze and discuss the effect of hazardous factors on escape. These cases involve road tunnels, railway tunnels, mines, and construction sites. The types of disaster include fire, automobile collision, electrical power failure due to earthquakes, and terror-based occurrence. Our analysis shows that evacuation success or failure depends on (1) urgency of the event and (2) the distance required to reach shelters or exits, regardless of how underground facilities are used. Based on the analysis of these two factors, we concluded that the maximumdistance of safe evacuation is within 400 m. We compared urgency and rescuer access time in disasters involving power failures in underground spaces. In the case of power failures, the risk to human life, and the need for immediate escape are small. In some fires, the contamination of escape routes is far faster than rescuers can arrive, and survey results show the importance of measures and designs for self-escape, especially in underground spaces.
Cite this article as:A. Tanaka, “Survey of Literature on Escape from Underground Spaces,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.2 No.4, pp. 250-258, 2007.Data files: