Brief Incident Report
On 15 April 2012 at around 13:00 local time, following a heavy rainfall in Tehran, a break in the channel wall of Kan River caused a flash flood in the Tehran metro tunnels. Consequently, line 4 of the metro went out of operation for about two weeks 1 . The flood was running for 30 hours in the metro system so that three stations were flooded causing damage to four trains and 28 wagons 2. It is estimated that approximately one million m3 of water and debris rushed in the metro tunnels through the break. Although this flash flood caused property damage of about $21 million (at the official exchange rate) to the metro especially its electrical system, fortunately no death and injury ensued 1,2,3,4 .
Quick measures were taken to disconnect electricity and evacuate more than 1,500 passengers and staff from the adjacent stations while simultaneously the water was draining. For a few days, more than 10 thousands m3 of debris and precipitants were removed from the stations and trains. Finally, damaged stations were repaired and got back to the operation in 12 days 3 . It was claimed that 2,500 persons worked every day during the response to this disaster.
Immediate disconnection of the electricity system prevented electrocutions. Timely emergency evacuation in this event saved hundreds of lives. All trains were stopped in adjacent stations and the passengers were instructed by the staff to safely evacuate the metro. In addition, dwellers near at risk stations were relocated to safe buildings.
Here, we wish to address some challenges along with corresponding lessons learned that have a bearing on revisions to the emergency plan of Tehran in general and Tehran’s metro in particular:
The authors received no fund for this study.
The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Ali Ardalan MD, PhD. Tehran University of Medical Sciences. Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nikzad A, Shakib H, Mehrabian AA. Presidential selected committee’s report regarding Tehran's metro flood. Tehran. 2012. [Cited 11 June 2012]; Available from: http://www.dolat.ir/NSite/FullStory/News/?Serv=0&Id=216166
- Shakib H. Line 4 subway accident report. Tehran. Islamic Council of Tehran. 2012. [Cited 16 June 2012]; Available from: http://www.mehrnews.com/detail/News/1628155
- Communication Management System of Tehran Municipality. Reopening western part of Metro line 4. Tehran 2012 [Cited 30 April 2012]; Available from: http://www.tehransama.ir/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=949172
- Communication Management System of Tehran Municipality . Detailed description of the occurrence and control of Tehran's recent flood. Tehran 2012 [Cited 30 April 2012]; Available from: http://www.tehransama.ir/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=949116