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Fire on board a freight shuttle in the Channel Tunnel

RAIB is working with the Bureau d Enquetes sur les Accidents de Transport Terrestre (BEA-TT), the body responsible for the investigation of railway accidents in France, to jointly investigate a fire on-board a train in the Channel Tunnel. The fire caused serious damage to two trucks on-board the shuttle. On Saturday 17 January 2015 at 12:23 hrs (CET), Eurotunnel freight shuttle 7340 was travelling from England to France in the Running Tunnel North of the Channel Tunnel, when the on-board fire alarm system detected a fire, which the driver reported to the control centre.

Shortly after, the control centre received a second fire alarm from a detector located within the tunnel and the power supply to the overhead line was lost. Without electrical power, the driver of shuttle 7340 made a controlled stop in the tunnel at cross-passage 4418, approximately 16 km (10 miles) from the French portal, in preparation for evacuation of the 38 passengers and four members of Eurotunnel staff into the adjacent service tunnel. All passengers and three members of staff were travelling in the amenity coach, located immediately behind the leading locomotive.

Their evacuation into the service tunnel through the cross-passage started at 12.30 hrs and was reported to be complete by 12:37 hrs. By 13:35 hrs, all other trains had exited the tunnels and firefighting operations were commencing. The passengers and crew of shuttle 7340 departed from the service tunnel at 14:03 hrs and were taken to the French terminal of the Channel Tunnel system.

Two trucks on the shuttle were confirmed to be on fire by the firefighting services. The fire was brought under control at 16:40 hrs but it still required several hours of dousing to cool the shuttle down afterwards. By 03:45 hrs on Sunday 18 January 2015, commercial operations in the Channel Tunnel using the Running Tunnel South had resumed.

The incident train was authorised to be removed from the Running Tunnel North, and was hauled out of the tunnel by 14:45 hrs on the same day. As the train stopped in the French section of the tunnel, the investigation will be led by BEA-TT. The joint investigation will aim to establish the sequence of events and factors that led to the fire, understand how the event was managed, and identify any safety lessons.

RAIB and BEA-TT will publish the findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of the joint investigation.

The report will be published in both English and French.

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Fire on board a freight shuttle in the Channel Tunnel

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Hinton, AB Head On Train Collisioin, Feb 1986 | GenDisasters …

HUMAN ERROR CAUSE OF CANADA WRECK. RESCUERS HUNT FOR 29 DEAD. Hinton, Alberta (AP) — Using bulldozers and cranes, rescuers searched for bodies in the smoking wreckage of a head on train collision in which 29 people were feared dead.

Two railway officials said human error could be responsible for the rail crash, Canads’s worst in 38 years. A mile-long Canadian National freight train carrying grain and pipe ran a caution signal and a red light, then barreled through a closed switch before colliding Saturday with a nine-car Via Rail passenger train, said ROSS WALKER, Canadian National’s senior vice president for western Canada. At the crash site, 150 miles west of Edmonton, Alberta, in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, Royal Canadian Mounted Police removed two unidentified bodies from the burned, mangled rail coaches on Sunday as heavy equipment operators tried to separate the debris.

The names of 93 known survivors were released by the Mounted Police later in the day, but identities of the two bodies and at least 27 others missing and presumed dead were withheld pending notification of next of kin. One dead passenger was found in the burned diner car, and the body of a train crew member from the passenger train was found in the engine room, said DR. DERRICK POUNDER, deputy chief medical examiner for northern Alberta.

Still missing were another 21 of at least 98 passengers, another four members of the seven member Canadian National crew on the Via train and two of the three crew members on the freight train, POUNDER said. “These numbers are fairly firm,” he said. Asked whether human error was the most likely cause of the wreck, ALEX RENNIE of Canadian National told reporters in Hinton, “It’s starting to look like that.” WALKER, the Canadian National vice-president, told an Edmonton news conference that the freight train was on the wrong track and had run through a red stop signal and a closed switch. The collision occurred about 265 feet west of a section of double track and on a single track. “He (the freight train engineer) left the double track when he should not have left the double track,” WALKER said. “There are only two possibilities that explain that happening.

One is a signal malfunction, the other is a human error.” WALKER said a dispatcher in Edmonton posted red and yellow signals for the westbound freight about 18 miles east of Hinton, indicating the engineer should prepare to stop the train. Three miles from where the smashup occurred, three red lights were on, showing the switch at the siding on which the train was moving had been closed, according to the dispatch center records. But moving in a 50-mph zone for freights and a 70-mph zone for passenger trains, the Canadian National train tore through the switch and collided with the Via train around a curve, WALKLER said. “There was nothing wrong with the track or track structure,” he said, “nothing wrong with any equipment on either train.” Three surviving passengers were treated overnight at Hinton Hospital and were released Sunday, while three others remained hospitalized in Edmonton early today, POUNDER said.

All the survivors were Canadians except FRANK GRIESEL of Eugene, Ore., and STEVEN DAY of Surrey, England.

Chronicle Telegram Elyria Ohio 1986-02-09

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Hinton, AB Head On Train Collisioin, Feb 1986 | GenDisasters …

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