Eurotunnel receives safety recommendations after fire

by Alister POOLE on November 24, 2010

A report in the wake of a fire two years ago has recommended improvements to Eurotunnel’s safety management and the way the firm deals with emergencies.

Over 100 firefighters fought for 15 hours to extinguish the blaze on a fright train just 11kms outside of Calais. Twenty-nine passengers were pulled to safety during the September 2008 fire.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch stated in its report that it recommended 39 changes to the rail firm, however, Eurotunnel reported the changes had already been made. Head of communications for Eurotunnel, John Keefe, said that whenever an accident occurs in a tunnel, it is essential to move safety forward as quick as possible.

Mr Keefe, said that the fire was a result of a truck blaze, which spread over to other lorries in the tunnel. He added that many of the lorries had sustained significant damage, but that all the people were removed from the tunnel safely. He reassured that the people safety record of the train operators stood firmly.

Mr Keefe cited the issues as being in the integrity of the tunnel’s infrastructure. He also said that since 2008 an entire new regime has been implemented which goes beyond the report’s recommendations.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch report stated that recommendations to the Eurotunnel covered areas included improving its telecommunications network, changes to rolling stock, modifying equipment and improving evacuation measures of freight trains.

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