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Containment of critical incidents

The design of the tunnel and its equipment will reduce the risk of critical incidents spreading.

The Fehmarnbelt tunnel is designed to minimise the risk of accidents and their consequences should they arise. 

The tunnel will be equipped with a powerful ventilation system, which will ensure that in the event of a fire, smoke can be blown out in the direction of the traffic flow and that the affected tunnel tube can be pressurised to prevent smoke from entering. Traffic in the tunnel will therefore be able to reach a safe, smoke-free area via one of the emergency doors located at 100m intervals and secure access between the tunnel’s five tubes. From here, fast evacuation out of the tunnel can take place. 

Should an accident occur, this will immediately be registered at the tunnel’s control centre, which is staffed around the clock. Via CCTV cameras, personnel at the control centre can monitor traffic and respond quickly in the event of an accident and alert the emergency services. 

Via road patrols and a computer-controlled traffic management system with signage and radio links to car radios, traffic can be brought to a halt and vehicles evacuated from the tunnel. Such an operation can happen very quickly. 

Monitoring can also show whether a vehicle is moving slowly and automatically alert personnel that something could be wrong that requires rapid intervention. Other systems monitor air quality and the temperature in the tunnel. There are also emergency telephones and fire extinguishers that tunnel users can use until help arrives. These are located at 100 m intervals. In this way, the consequences of an accident or other incidents in the tunnel can be contained. 

MONITORING CAN ALSO SHOW WHETHER A VEHICLE IS MOVING SLOWLY AND AUTOMATICALLY ALERT PERSONNEL THAT SOMETHING COULD BE WRONG THAT REQUIRES RAPID INTERVENTION

Did you know that...

... The Fehmarnbelt tunnel will use the same principles of longitudinal ventilation as are used in the  Øresund tunnel where there has never been a serious accident in 15 years of operation?

... Overall, the Fehmarnbelt tunnel will be safer than an equivalent section of road or railway on open land. 

In case of a fire, vehicles ahead of the fire can thus simply drive out of the tunnel. Vehicles that have stopped upstream of the fire will experience no smoke because ventilation fans will ensure fresh air from behind. These car passengers can then leave their vehicles and enter a safe area via the emergency doors. 

Depending on the severity of the incident, traffic flow into the other road and rail tubes can quickly be stopped so as to ensure optimum conditions for self-rescue and the work of the emergency and rescue teams.

All relevant parts of the tunnel will also be protected against high temperatures. Concrete structures will be able to withstand any impact from fires at temperatures of up to 1,350 degrees Celcius for several hours.