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U-THREAT large-scale exercise in Lyon metro

The large-scale exercise took place during the nightly shutdown from 08 to 09 October 2019 in the Lyon metro. In the exercise scenario, a train comes to a standstill between two stops in the middle of the 700 m long tunnel. There are 80 passengers on board who are supposed to rescue themselves safely and quickly from this threatening situation despite the development of smoke. Two injured persons have to be rescued by the fire brigade.

The main objective of the exercise was to gain new insights into the interaction between self-rescue and external rescue. A particular focus was on communication between the actors involved: passengers, drivers, dispatchers in the control centre and rescue services. In particular, the approaches developed previously in the research project to increase so-called user-related resilience were tested, i.e. measures for self-help in crisis situations. These include, for example, technical support systems in the form of smartphone apps that are also suitable for passengers with reduced mobility. The opportunity to test and evaluate such solutions in a real environment does not often arise.

Following the exercise, the feedback from all passengers, firefighters and numerous observers from the research team was collected. The scientific evaluation of the first impressions was started during the night.

Final instructions to the 80 passengers involved

Artificial smoking of the underground tunnel

Preparation of the Lyon fire brigade for the rescue mission

Significant fumigation of the adjacent stations

Realistic situation for the fire brigade: near darkness and confined spaces

Evaluation of the first findings begins on the platform