22 October 2003
Emergency exercise in West Rail Tai Lam Tunnel
In preparation for the opening of West Rail, the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) carried out a joint emergency exercise with the relevant Government departments today (22 October) in West Rail Tai Lam Tunnel, the longest transportation tunnel in Hong Kong.
The exercise was one in a series conducted to test the responsiveness and co-ordination of KCRC staff and various emergency services teams in carrying out rescue operation and emergency handling.
The exercise simulated an incident during which about 300 passengers were evacuated from a West Rail train in Tai Lam Tunnel because of a fire on the train. Some 20 passengers were "injured". They were rescued and sent to hospital.
During the disruption, buses of KCRC and KCRC contractors were deployed to provide emergency services between West Rail Kam Sheung Road Station and Tsuen Wan West Station. The Transport Department also took part by activating a mock Emergency Transport Coordination Centre to coordinate the provision of emergency public transport support services, and conducting site observations.
Mr Tsui Wai Keung, KCRC General Manager, Light Rail Operations said, "We are well aware of the difficulties in handling emergencies inside a tunnel where access can only be made on foot or by our emergency rescue vehicles. The exercise aimed to familiarize all players with a difficult rescue environment as that encountered in a tunnel. The rescue teams had demonstrated high level of co-ordination and co-operation in the exercise."
The Fire Services Department, the Hong Kong Police, Transport Department, Tuen Mun Hospital, and other bus operators also participated in today’s exercise.