Containing the consequences in the event of an accident

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 other tunnel tube can be pressurised so that smoke from the affected tube does not spread. Should a fire occur, vehicles in the road tunnel ahead of the fire can 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, via the emergency doors, enter a safe area, which will be in the adjacent, non-affected road tunnel tube. Emergency exits are located at 110 metre intervals. From the safe area, road users can be evacuated by bus or exit the tunnel themselves.
Should an accident or critical incident occur, this will immediately be registered at the tunnel’s control centre and at the train traffic control centre in Copenhagen. Both control centres are staffed around the clock and are in contact with each other. Via CCTV cameras, personnel at the tunnel’s control centre can monitor road traffic and respond quickly in the event of an accident and alert the emergency services. 

Via dynamic signs throughout the tunnel, the control centre can direct traffic, and barriers in front of the tunnel will ensure that no vehicles can enter.  Information will be communicated to road users via a loudspeaker system in the road tunnel or via radio transmission directly to drivers’ FM and DAB radio via a radio interruption system.
Detectors in the tunnel will also show whether a vehicle or train is moving slowly or is at a standstill, and automatically alert personnel that something could be wrong that requires rapid intervention.

Other systems monitor air quality and the temperature in the tunnel. At each emergency exit, the tunnel is also equipped with emergency telephones and fire extinguishers that tunnel users can use until help arrives. In this way, the consequences of any incident in the tunnel will be contained.

Detectors in the tunnel will show if a vehicle or train is moving slowly or is at a standstill, and automatically alert personnel that something could be wrong that requires rapid intervention.

Did you know that...

...statistically, the Fehmarnbelt tunnel will be just as safe to use as equivalent routes by road or rail on open land in Denmark?

Should a serious incident occur, vehicle traffic can quickly be stopped by deploying barriers in the tunnel portal area. Similarly, the train control centre can bring trains to a halt outside the tunnel. Vehicles that have already entered the tunnel will either be driven out or halted by dynamic signs. This means that it will be safe to move away from the incident and into a safe, smoke-free tunnel tube. This will also provide the best possible working conditions for the emergency services.

The tunnel walls and ceilings will be protected by a fire retardant cladding, which means that the concrete structures can withstand a temperature of up to 1,350 degrees Celsius over a period of three hours.

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