Abu Dhabi simulates major tunnel accident to test emergency response

Police and fire crews were part of training exercise at Sheikh Zayed Road Tunnel

Members of Abu Dhabi's emergency services have put their rapid response skills to the test by conducting a mock road accident rescue operation.

The drill inside the Sheikh Zayed Road Tunnel simulated a collision between a lorry carrying flammable materials and a bus transporting passengers.

The scenario involved a fire and resulted - for the purpose of the exercise - in a number of injuries and smoke inhalation among passengers.

Police and civil defence teams were tasked with racing to the rescue in a potentially deadly situation, to ensure they are fully prepared if such a crisis unfolds in reality.

The capital's Integrated Transport Centre worked with Abu Dhabi Police to set up the training operation, with the support of organisations such as Abu Dhabi City Municipality, Abu Dhabi Centre for Waste Management, Emirates General Transport and Services Company and ST Engineering Electronics Ltd.

Police praised the ITC's organisation of the event.

The ITC said the drill was held to assess the response time and performance of key services.

"The experiment aimed at clarifying the role of each party in dealing with emergency situations," said Abu Dhabi Media Office.

It was also designed to determine situations that require the transfer of leadership responsibility between the partners in managing the site of the accident, depending on the nature of the accident

"The experiment’s main objective was to ensure preserving lives and property while minimising potential damage," the media office said.

The teams taking part were able to bring the injured to safety and control the fire to complete the rescue mission successfully.

The ITC urged members of the public to take care when travelling through tunnels in case of accidents.

Drivers must pay attention to traffic lights when approaching tunnel entrances, the authority said.

The lights will change to red and entry to the tunnel will be barred in cases of major accidents or emergencies, while traffic is diverted to surface roads.

The ITC also advised drivers to quickly clear the way for firefighting vehicles and teams, to enable the rescue process.

Passengers are also advised to keep their vehicles’ windows closed in case of fire inside a tunnel.

The 4.2-kilometre Sheikh Zayed Road Tunnel is a major transport link in the capital, serving about 40,000 vehicles each day.

Updated: January 8th 2022, 9:22 AM