Managing a Motorway Tunnel Evacuation through 2-D/3-D Simulation Models

E. Briano, C. Caballini, R. Mosca, R. Revetria, and A. Testa (Italy)

Keywords

Emergency Procedures, Simulation, Human Behavior, PECS Models

Abstract

Safety in motorway tunnels has assumed even more importance after some catastrophic accidents like the one in Mont-Blanc tunnel in March, 24th 1999, where about 39 people died burnt in flames or intoxicated by the smoke and several dozens were seriously injured. In consideration to this, the authors propose the study of an emergency procedure regarding a motorway tunnel evacuation after an accident producing fire and high density smoke. A simulation model has been developed and shown using Java™ Software, where the behavior of the people escaping from the tunnel is modeled and studied in order to assess the effectiveness of the emergency procedures, signals and infrastructures (emergency exits, SOS columns, etc.). In order to take into account the most significant state variables that could affect human behavior in this particular situation, the model has been built considering the main aspects of the PECS (Physical Emotional Cognitive Social) reference models, in which physical, emotional, cognitive and social factors have to be studied. This case study is similar to Schmidt’s “Adam’s World” [1] where Adam, a primitive man, has to cope with an environment that presents some danger points to be avoided and other points where to regain energy or, in this case, to escape from. This work is a natural evolution of Adam’s world because social aspects not present in Schmidt’s model because Adam lives alone play a great role. After describing and analyzing the model and its results, a section is dedicated to a graphical 3-D model, developed in Blender™ and animated with Wolverine Software Proof Animation™, which reproduces the effects of the accident, with a particular focus on smoke behavior.

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