Mitigating the Effects of Firebomb and Blast Attacks on Metro Systems

Over recent years the mechanics by which terrorist attacks are carried out have changed leading to an increased threat of un-forewarned attacks on transport systems. One of the counter-measures which can be implemented to reduce the risk of such attacks is by making transport systems a less attractive target for terrorists. This can be achieved by mitigating the effect such attacks have on passengers, staff and metro infrastructure. The aim of the European Framework 7 project “SecureMetro” is to increase the safety and security of metro vehicles from terrorist attacks by explosives and firebombs through material choice and vehicle design, thereby increasing resilience and reducing the impact of attacks on passengers, staff, infrastructure and property. Metro vehicles have been selected for study because these are often crowded, representing a high profile target for terrorists aiming at mass casualty attacks. Current approaches to security on these systems are largely managerial (enhanced vigilance, detection of concealed items, depot security) or use searches and screening (e.g. detection of explosives using dogs). The greatest resilience to attack is provided through a multi-layered system of security. SecureMetro adds an additional layer of protection to the system, which will remain effective even if others are not successful. This paper reviews the impact of past terrorist attacks on metro vehicles and systems, describing the attack methodology and the immediate and subsequent effects on the passengers, staff and infrastructure. It discusses the response of infrastructure and support systems relating to these attacks. It also proposes key areas where the choice of materials and design can mitigate the effects of blast attacks.


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  • Accession Number: 01486959
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 9 2013 9:14AM