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Kings cross fire. - 2/16/2013 11:09:05 PM   
rogo727


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Just watched this documentary and I must say that I was totally shocked of the total lack of fire prevention in the underground. Wooden escalators? You would think that a country as old and rich in history would know better. I guess what was even more shocking that it took science to solve this. This was sad but come on the folks had no clue on fire drills or to handle such a thing as a fire in the subway. Please tell me that plans are in place if this ever happens again.

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RE: Kings cross fire. - 2/16/2013 11:16:02 PM   
Wolfe


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You do know that that took place 25 years ago.

I think it is fair to say that lessons were learnt and the underground is significantly different now, and has been for the last 20 odd years.

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RE: Kings cross fire. - 2/16/2013 11:25:55 PM   
parusski


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rogo727

Just watched this documentary and I must say that I was totally shocked of the total lack of fire prevention in the underground. Wooden escalators? You would think that a country as old and rich in history would know better. I guess what was even more shocking that it took science to solve this. This was sad but come on the folks had no clue on fire drills or to handle such a thing as a fire in the subway. Please tell me that plans are in place if this ever happens again.


Oh, I thought you meant wodin escalators. Wow, that would have been interesting.

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RE: Kings cross fire. - 2/16/2013 11:44:28 PM   
wodin


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still got the scars today..tough job being an escalator..lot of ups and downs..

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RE: Kings cross fire. - 2/17/2013 12:05:32 AM   
parusski


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

still got the scars today..tough job being an escalator..lot of ups and downs..


Funny. Very good comeback wodin.

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RE: Kings cross fire. - 2/17/2013 12:19:50 AM   
rogo727


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Yes indeed :p
quote:

ORIGINAL: parusski


quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

still got the scars today..tough job being an escalator..lot of ups and downs..


Funny. Very good comeback wodin.



_____________________________

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RE: Kings cross fire. - 2/17/2013 9:59:49 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rogo727

Just watched this documentary and I must say that I was totally shocked of the total lack of fire prevention in the underground. Wooden escalators? You would think that a country as old and rich in history would know better. I guess what was even more shocking that it took science to solve this. This was sad but come on the folks had no clue on fire drills or to handle such a thing as a fire in the subway. Please tell me that plans are in place if this ever happens again.
warspite1

Further to Wolfe's response, rogo727 what documentary did you watch? I assume it cannot have been the excellent "Seconds From Disaster" as this made perfectly clear that the Kings Cross fire took place in 1987 and that as a result, safety on the Underground was completely overhauled. Specifically:

- The remaining wooden escalators were replaced in all stations by steel ones
- Smoking on the Underground was banned
- Emergency procedures came to the fore

So in response to your question, yes this type of incident should be better managed if it were to happen again - but I can't understand why the documentary you watched failed to make that clear?

As far as the science aspect and the investigaion into what caused the fire is concerned, this revolved around the need initially to understand what caused the fire and the subsequent fireball that was responsible for so many deaths.

You must remember that terrorist activity is something we have had to live with here in the UK for an awfully long time. Terrorists were routinely blowing the arms and legs off innocent men, women and children in London (Christmas campaigns were their favourite), and other towns and cities at that time, and terrorism was thought initially to be likely cause.

Even when that was ruled out, and a simple fire in a pit below the escalator (caused by a discarded cigarette) was known to be the cause, the investigators had to understand what turned this small, containable fire in a small part of the station into a catastrophic fireball.

It was thought that air, rushing in from trains entering and exiting the station helped create the fireball. However that was quickly ruled out. The truth was quite amazing and is where the science bit was required.

I cannot explain this science properly, but essentially, and in layman's terms, it was a combination of the wooden escalator, the angle of the incline and the fact any flames would be funnelled by the sides of the escalator that caused the fireball. So one minute the small fire was burning away on a small section of escalator, and then, once a certain temperature had been reached, the flames shot forward along the escalator (not straight upwards) like a bullet, incinerating those at the top of the escalator.

If you are interested I strongly recommend you watch the Seconds From Disaster episode on this event. It explains the above in good detail.

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RE: Kings cross fire. - 2/17/2013 10:39:20 AM   
british exil


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Well pointed out Warspite.

I watched the documentary you mentioned and it was quite an eye opener, how fast the fast the escalator turned into a fireball.

I remember they rebuilt the whole section, just to determine how it did happen.

Sadly, horrific events take place, so that improvements can be made. Herald of Free Enterprise being just one example of how ferry's have been improved over the last decades.

Mat

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RE: Kings cross fire. - 2/18/2013 12:53:19 AM   
rogo727


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It was A&E and it was made clear that no one knew what to do or how to handle it and it took science to figure out what happened. Even for 1987 I consider this barbaric at best. It should also be noted that the British government admitted full responsibility after the report.

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: rogo727

Just watched this documentary and I must say that I was totally shocked of the total lack of fire prevention in the underground. Wooden escalators? You would think that a country as old and rich in history would know better. I guess what was even more shocking that it took science to solve this. This was sad but come on the folks had no clue on fire drills or to handle such a thing as a fire in the subway. Please tell me that plans are in place if this ever happens again.
warspite1

Further to Wolfe's response, rogo727 what documentary did you watch? I assume it cannot have been the excellent "Seconds From Disaster" as this made perfectly clear that the Kings Cross fire took place in 1987 and that as a result, safety on the Underground was completely overhauled. Specifically:

- The remaining wooden escalators were replaced in all stations by steel ones
- Smoking on the Underground was banned
- Emergency procedures came to the fore

So in response to your question, yes this type of incident should be better managed if it were to happen again - but I can't understand why the documentary you watched failed to make that clear?

As far as the science aspect and the investigaion into what caused the fire is concerned, this revolved around the need initially to understand what caused the fire and the subsequent fireball that was responsible for so many deaths.

You must remember that terrorist activity is something we have had to live with here in the UK for an awfully long time. Terrorists were routinely blowing the arms and legs off innocent men, women and children in London (Christmas campaigns were their favourite), and other towns and cities at that time, and terrorism was thought initially to be likely cause.

Even when that was ruled out, and a simple fire in a pit below the escalator (caused by a discarded cigarette) was known to be the cause, the investigators had to understand what turned this small, containable fire in a small part of the station into a catastrophic fireball.

It was thought that air, rushing in from trains entering and exiting the station helped create the fireball. However that was quickly ruled out. The truth was quite amazing and is where the science bit was required.

I cannot explain this science properly, but essentially, and in layman's terms, it was a combination of the wooden escalator, the angle of the incline and the fact any flames would be funnelled by the sides of the escalator that caused the fireball. So one minute the small fire was burning away on a small section of escalator, and then, once a certain temperature had been reached, the flames shot forward along the escalator (not straight upwards) like a bullet, incinerating those at the top of the escalator.

If you are interested I strongly recommend you watch the Seconds From Disaster episode on this event. It explains the above in good detail.



< Message edited by rogo727 -- 2/18/2013 12:55:55 AM >


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Nile Kinnick 1918-1943

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RE: Kings cross fire. - 2/18/2013 8:07:39 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rogo727

It was A&E and it was made clear that no one knew what to do or how to handle it and it took science to figure out what happened. Even for 1987 I consider this barbaric at best. It should also be noted that the British government admitted full responsibility after the report.

warspite1

Barbaric? Interesting word in this scenario.

Yes, people would like to think that in 1987 travel on the tube was relatively safe, and I'm sure it was. But accidents happen. When such accidents are mixed with poor emergency procedures, and or human error we get things like Kings Cross. I suspect the US, like all countries, has its fair share of accidents?

Not sure why "it took science to figure out what happened" is such a big deal. The fact that the fire travelled the way it did, at the height it did, and with such velocity, was not readily explainable - and you can see why (assuming the program was as in depth as the Seconds From Disaster documentary). Even now, the fact that the fire behaved like that seems incredible.

BTW the British Government do not run the tube network - London Regional Transport do - and it was the latter that was accountable for the tragedy.

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RE: Kings cross fire. - 2/18/2013 12:32:23 PM   
catwhoorg


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What SHOULD have been addressed in hindsight is a wider analysis of the Bradford City fire, and that may of highlighted some of the same conditions that existed at Kings Cross.

Wooden stands, trash collects, + ciggies, compared of elevator pit, trash collects + ciggies

Could it have been prevented, I think even the most optimistic timelines for a full analysis woudl have had the Kings Cross fire within the time of the inquiry and report production, but maybe an interim report could have got the ball moving. Maybe.

The events were a tragic accident, and did lead to a understanding of a new dynamic of fire spreading, that can be applied globally.

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RE: Kings cross fire. - 2/18/2013 12:38:07 PM   
catwhoorg


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Oh and I think its a bigger black mark on the UK collective that it took Hillsborough, not Bradford City to show the stupidity of high pitchside fencing in football matches.

Valley Parade could easily have been the funeral pyre of thousands (instead of the 56) had they been fenced in.

(sorry I digress)

< Message edited by catwhoorg -- 2/18/2013 12:40:56 PM >

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RE: Kings cross fire. - 2/18/2013 12:44:40 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: catwhoorg

What SHOULD have been addressed in hindsight is a wider analysis of the Bradford City fire, and that may of highlighted some of the same conditions that existed at Kings Cross.

Wooden stands, trash collects, + ciggies, compared of elevator pit, trash collects + ciggies

Could it have been prevented, I think even the most optimistic timelines for a full analysis woudl have had the Kings Cross fire within the time of the inquiry and report production, but maybe an interim report could have got the ball moving. Maybe.

The events were a tragic accident, and did lead to a understanding of a new dynamic of fire spreading, that can be applied globally.
warspite1

Good point. The way in which the Bradford fire spread from the seemingly small localised fire you see captured in early pictures, to the fire that engulfed the entire stand in less than 5 minutes is also incredible.

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RE: Kings cross fire. - 2/18/2013 5:14:12 PM   
teddy


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From: Perth, Scotland.
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quote:

ORIGINAL: catwhoorg

Oh and I think its a bigger black mark on the UK collective that it took Hillsborough, not Bradford City to show the stupidity of high pitchside fencing in football matches.

Valley Parade could easily have been the funeral pyre of thousands (instead of the 56) had they been fenced in.

(sorry I digress)

Very good comparison between the 2 disasters, catwhoorg. The Valley Parade disaster should have made the experts realise that any system made of wood and the propensity of litter nearby was a recipe for tragedy. If football casuals had frequented Valley Parade on a regular basis then the ground would have been fenced in - and that would have been so much worse.

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RE: Kings cross fire. - 2/18/2013 6:01:02 PM   
rogo727


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In 1987 I was a sophomore in high school. Every month we had fire drills on what to do and how to handle in the event of any fire. This is what shocked me the most. That the people who ran the underground had NO plan in event of fire. So yes "barbaric comes to mind". In the states we have OSHA. I'm just thinking of how many fines OSHA would have sited back then. Probably in the millions. They hired scientist to figure out why and how it happened. Just re watched this it said British authorities and not government .
quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: rogo727

It was A&E and it was made clear that no one knew what to do or how to handle it and it took science to figure out what happened. Even for 1987 I consider this barbaric at best. It should also be noted that the British government admitted full responsibility after the report.

warspite1

Barbaric? Interesting word in this scenario.

Yes, people would like to think that in 1987 travel on the tube was relatively safe, and I'm sure it was. But accidents happen. When such accidents are mixed with poor emergency procedures, and or human error we get things like Kings Cross. I suspect the US, like all countries, has its fair share of accidents?

Not sure why "it took science to figure out what happened" is such a big deal. The fact that the fire travelled the way it did, at the height it did, and with such velocity, was not readily explainable - and you can see why (assuming the program was as in depth as the Seconds From Disaster documentary). Even now, the fact that the fire behaved like that seems incredible.

BTW the British Government do not run the tube network - London Regional Transport do - and it was the latter that was accountable for the tragedy.



< Message edited by rogo727 -- 2/18/2013 6:05:14 PM >


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Nile Kinnick 1918-1943

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RE: Kings cross fire. - 2/18/2013 7:18:03 PM   
warspite1


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What do these two sentences mean please?

In the states we have OSHA. I'm just thinking of how many fines OSHA would have sited back then.

They hired scientist to figure out why and how it happened.

In the latter sentence are you talking about the Kings Cross fire?

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RE: Kings cross fire. - 2/18/2013 10:21:16 PM   
rogo727


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http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=OSHACT&p_id=2743. Also the state fire marshal is required to vist the store once a year...more if safety violations are found.. Simply put the British people did not know the cause of the fire. They hired a group of criminal scientists. To find out why this happened.. I will put this in caps THE UNDERGROUND HAD NO PLAN IN PLACE IN THE EVENT OF FIRE OTHER THAN CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT. This was their only plan no matter how you word it. Granted I hope for gods sake this has changed it was still 1987 and not the 1800's. it was shameful and the lives lost I feel,should strive your government into action which I hope it has. Makes me wonder about the UK and the worlds safety standards. Please tell me your grocers are accountable to your govevernment as far as food safety is concerned.


< Message edited by rogo727 -- 2/18/2013 11:48:05 PM >


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Nile Kinnick 1918-1943

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Post #: 17
RE: Kings cross fire. - 2/19/2013 7:16:15 AM   
warspite1


Posts: 18697
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From: England
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: rogo727

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=OSHACT&p_id=2743. Also the state fire marshal is required to vist the store once a year...more if safety violations are found.. Simply put the British people did not know the cause of the fire. They hired a group of criminal scientists. To find out why this happened.. I will put this in caps THE UNDERGROUND HAD NO PLAN IN PLACE IN THE EVENT OF FIRE OTHER THAN CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT. This was their only plan no matter how you word it. Granted I hope for gods sake this has changed it was still 1987 and not the 1800's. it was shameful and the lives lost I feel,should strive your government into action which I hope it has. Makes me wonder about the UK and the worlds safety standards. Please tell me your grocers are accountable to your govevernment as far as food safety is concerned.

warspite1

quote:

Simply put the British people did not know the cause of the fire. They hired a group of criminal scientists. To find out why this happened


No, no one knew why the fire started or, once it had started, why it caused a fireball. Experiments were carried out (as british exil said above) using a model of the escalator at the British Atomic Research Agency. Understanding a cause of a fire (and in this case, how fire behaves) is standard stuff for a fire investigation.

quote:

UNDERGROUND HAD NO PLAN IN PLACE IN THE EVENT OF FIRE OTHER THAN CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.


Yes, years of complacency put fire safety at the bottom of the pile

quote:

This was their only plan no matter how you word it.


No one is wording it any different.

quote:

Granted I hope for gods sake this has changed it was still 1987 and not the 1800's.
and
quote:

I feel,should strive your government into action which I hope it has


As explained in previous posts, as is usual with this type of incident, it takes a tragedy for people to do something - I am sure the US has the same experience, just look at some of the fires that your country has suffered - old peoples homes and nightclubs in particular. Yes, as has also already been explained, procedures have changed, and the causes, and catalysts for this fire have been removed.

quote:

it was shameful


Yes, people die when when we become complacent.

quote:

Makes me wonder about the UK and the worlds safety standards.


Seriously? I mean seriously? You are talking like the US never had a fire.

quote:

Please tell me your grocers are accountable to your govevernment as far as food safety is concerned.


Ah good some levity to end on. Yes. I can confirm without fear of prejudice, that our grocers are 100% committed to ensuring we have only 100% horsemeat in our beef products.... unless of course its pork.

_____________________________

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