A Year On: Another Euston Fire

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Wed, 20/07/2011 - 11:44,

Almost exactly a year on from last year's fire in an escalator machine room, Euston station has had another reminder of the constant risks to safety and need for staff on the Underground.

This most recent fire was in the air vents. A huge team of fire fighters was needed to tackle it. It was impossible for the fire brigade to say what initially caused it, as they said something can so easily get into the air vents. This shows that, for all management's confidence about keeping risks to a minimum, the risks can never be eliminated.

Last year's fire was picked up by member of staff, as the fire detection system was defective. This year, the fire also coincided with defective equipment. The Public Address system was not working, so staff had to hurry around the station with megaphones to get everybody out.

With the volume of passengers travelling through our stations, any fire that was not properly managed and detected would have dire consequences.

With the ever-present risk and unreliabile detection and evacuation equipment, the only thing that stands between safety and a major catastrophe is the presence of staff. We need to defend section 12 staffing numbers, and to fight for more staff, to reflect the real numbers needed in a real-life evacuation, especially since the February jobs cull.

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