Like in Gotthard: Rescue Training in the Heart of a Railway Tunnel near Plzen

HZS Plzeňského kraje

A train derailed in the depths of the four-kilometer-long Ejpovice tunnel near Plzen. This scenario was part of one of the largest exercises of all components of the integrated rescue system, which took place overnight from Saturday to Sunday.

The exercise took inspiration from a real train accident that occurred in the Swiss Gotthard tunnel on August 10 this year, according to Pavel Poncar, a spokesperson for the regional firefighters. However, a freight train derailed in that case. The exercise in Ejpovice involved a passenger train accident with 130 people onboard.

Ten people were severely injured, fifteen were moderately injured, and forty-six were lightly injured,” Poncar summarized the simulated situation.

The simulated accident occurred in the middle of the tunnel, approximately two kilometers from each portal. “Twenty-three units arrived at the scene, so more than a hundred firefighters,” Poncar specified.

After locating the derailed train through exploration, the rescue work began,” Poncar stated. The uninjured were evacuated through safety connections between the tubes, and the injured were transported to the Chlum portal, where they were handed over to the medical rescue service.

Andrea Divišová from the regional rescue service reminded that the tactical exercise aimed to improve and deepen the cooperation between the individual components of the integrated rescue system. “At the same time, all responders tried out the specifics of intervention in difficult conditions, such as darkness and cold,” Divišová added.