Monday, October 10, 2011

The Burning Loop

We in Western countries should be able to have faith in our safety systems. But, and isn't there always a but, remember the Rhode Island nightclub fire? One hundred odd killed. Where were the fire safety systems? The fire brigade arrived in less than five minutes of the fire starting, and yet, still, so many injured and dead.

London bombings.....the rescue authorities would not enter the Underground unless they were assured the power was switched off. No one could assure them, resulting in massive delays and possibly more deaths than might have been.

And now we have our own City Loop, where our trains go underground around the city. Reports as to how it would cope with an emergency do no sound promising. I assume it stands for all emergency services but at least one has said that it will not enter the Loop unless the power is not only shut off, but earthed. Apparently there are only four people on the system who can do this. I understand that for complete safety, as well as turning the power off, there needs to be a connection from the overhead wires to the track in case of faulty electrics. I would imagine there is a high tech device that can do this, but to me, it sounds like it is a very manual operation for our City Loop. It also seems fire exits are locked? This has been proven around the world to be disastrous practice.

In your home, your own safety is your business. While it may be illegal for you to not have smoke detectors, when is that ever enforced? Within the home and when out on the street we need to depend on our wits to keep ourselves safe.

But when we depend on others, such as our public transport system, we need to have complete confidence in public facilities. This includes not only public transport, but in shopping systems, entertainment venues and hotels. I for one do not feel confident that the twenty year old plus City Loop is up to scratch in the case of a serious emergency.

Much later edit: When a terrible crash and fire happened in a City Link tunnel, the water deluge system perhaps saved many people by dumping water on the fire. It is to the credit of those involved that the water deluge system was installed, although I seem to recall that it was touch and go as to whether it would be. There is no such thing in the City Loop.


  1. The City Loop definitely needs a complete overhaul from overheads to rail to bring it up to modern day standards :-).

  2. I agree with Windsmoke; safety precautions and procedures have changed drastically in 20 years, it's time the State Govt invested some moolah into overhauling it.... while extending the infrastructure at the same time.

  3. Don't they check things out and upgrade on a yearly basis? What exactly are we paying taxes for? You'd think the government would be more aware of the safety of the people who vote for them.
    Oh's the government...what was I thinking.

  4. Isn't it mandatory for these people to have a displan?
    Then the fire brigade could quickly crank up their database, locate the file and read it so's they'll know who is doing what.
    Maybe they need to have a fire drill - after I have reached Richmond station.

    To be honest, I would NOT be sheltering in the underground if stuck in Melbourne during a blitz.

  5. Just symptomatic of the way things work these days ... having a plan is more important than knowing how to use it. Or update it. Or practice it. Or make sure everyone on it is aware they're on it. But what was I thinking? Same as River!!

  6. Red, I understand it is checked but you know how these things work. A minor point will be called to fault, and the bigger picture will be ignored. But have no fear, the minister has called for a report.

  7. I have to admit that when I am in a tunnel it always crosses my mind what would happen if there was a truck or car fire - in the movies people run out but not being the world's fastest on foot I'd be one of the ones who didn't survive the first scene...
    they build and install only what they must -

  8. The must here in Oz MC is not bad. But it needs to be checked and maintained.