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Study on availability and issues of evacuation using stopped escalators in a subway station



Recent years have seen an increasing number of deep subway stations, and many of the existing stations have been made progressively barrier free. This has been accompanied by the installation of more and more escalators, and often existing stairways have been converted to escalators. This has resulted in fewer egress paths in an emergency case. Considering this background, firstly, a crowd walking experiment using stopped escalators was conducted in order to get the base data, for example, on obtained walking speed, for the parameters in the evacuation simulation of several fire scenarios in a typical subway station. Secondly, a smoke movement simulation of the metro fire scenarios was conducted to demonstrate the applicability of the smoke model in a two-layer zone model. Finally, based on the results of the evacuation and smoke simulations of the chosen subway station, we examined the availability and the issues of evacuation using stopped escalators. As a result, it was found that the evacuation potential of passengers on a platform is considerably improved if escalators are permitted in addition to stairs for emergency evacuation. Several issues to be considered for the safe operation of escalators are identified. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.