Time Gaps for Passing Through Bus Exits in Tunnel Fires by an Experimental Evacuation and Ordinary Use

  • Hung-Chieh ChungEmail author
  • Miho Seike
  • Nobuyoshi Kawabata
  • Masato Hasegawa
  • Shen-Wen Chien
  • Tzu-Sheng Shen
Conference paper


This study was focused on the time gaps between passengers exiting a bus during an evacuation in the event of a tunnel fire. In a tunnel fire, bus passengers must evacuate irrespective of whether the bus is on fire or not. Hence, considering the tunnel fire situation, we considered two scenarios for evacuation: (1) evacuation in which the passengers do not perceive emergency and (2) evacuation in which the passengers perceive emergency. Based on these scenarios, we carried out experiments and observations to measure the time gaps of able-bodied persons and elders with reduced mobility. The experimental results indicated that the time gaps of able-bodied persons ranged from 0.42 to 4.42 s (mean = 1.40 s) and those of simulated elders ranged from 1.8 to 4.73 s (mean = 2.94 s). The probability distribution of experimental time gap data also demonstrated that the maximum rate of the able-bodied person data corresponds to 1.0–1.5 s, and the maximum rate of the simulated elderly data corresponds to 2.0–2.5 s. Moreover, most time gap data were in the 5 s range in both the evacuation experiment and observations. However, in observations, the appearance of particular movement characteristics caused relatively longtime gaps which were even larger than the mean value of simulated elders in the experiment.


Bus experiment Evacuation time Simulated elderly Time gaps 



This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP16H03122. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all participants who attended the present experiments, and SFPE Taiwan Chapter who cooperated with us to analyze the case of the fire accident in the Hsuehshan tunnel.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hung-Chieh Chung
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Miho Seike
    • 3
  • Nobuyoshi Kawabata
    • 4
  • Masato Hasegawa
    • 5
  • Shen-Wen Chien
    • 6
  • Tzu-Sheng Shen
    • 6
  1. 1.Kaohsiung City Fire BureauFengshan Dist., Kaohsiung CityTaiwan (R.O.C.)
  2. 2.Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Mechanical Science and Engineering(Doctoral Programs)Kanazawa UniversityKanazawaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical Systems Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringToyama Prefectural UniversityImizuJapan
  4. 4.Faculty of Production Systems Engineering and SciencesKomatsu UniversityKomatsuJapan
  5. 5.Faculty of Mechanical EngineeringInstitute of Science and Engineering, Kanazawa UniversityKanazawaJapan
  6. 6.Department of Fire ScienceCentral Police UniversityKueishan District, Taoyuan CityTaiwan (R.O.C.)

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