Massive fire drill planned at Ben Thanh Market metro station

By Le Tuyet, Gia Minh   December 21, 2023 | 07:05 pm PT
Massive fire drill planned at Ben Thanh Market metro station
A train of HCMC's metro line No.1 takes a test run at Ben Thanh underground station, August 29, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
A huge fire drill with over 4,000 personnel will be carried out at Ho Chi Minh City's Ben Thanh underground metro station on Saturday.

The simulation will also involve over 150 specialized vehicles, Lieutenant Colonel Le Manh Ha, deputy head of staff at the HCMC Police Department, said at a press meeting on Thursday.

The simulation will involve a fire in a substation, causing many passengers on two trains to be trapped and pass out.

At the same time there will be another blaze in the basement of the shopping center in the station with a high risk of spreading widely.

So a large-scale and complex rescue and firefighting effort would be mounted to prevent a major fire in the underground station and shopping center, he said.

The purpose of the drill is to ensure safety before metro line No. 1 between Ben Thanh Market in District 1 and Suoi Tien Theme Park in Thu Duc City becomes operational next year.

For the drill, 15 roads near the station are closed to traffic from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. from Dec. 21 to 23.

They include Tran Hung Dao (from Nguyen Thai Hoc to Ham Nghi), Le Loi (from Ham Nghi to Nam Ky Khoi Nghia), Ham Nghi (from Tran Hung Dao to Nam Ky Khoi Nghia), Le Lai (from Truong Dinh to Le Loi), Huynh Thuc Khang (from Le Loi to Nam Ky Khoi Nghia), Phan Chu Trinh (from Le Thanh Ton to Le Lai), and Phan Boi Chau (from Le Thanh Ton to Le Loi).

Police officers will be present to guide drivers.

Being built at a cost of VND43.7 trillion (US$1.78 billion), HCMC's first metro line will run 19.7 km and have three underground stations and 11 above ground.

Ben Thanh station is 32 meters below ground and has four stories. The most important of the line's three underground stations, it will also serve as a transfer station linking with future lines 2, 3 and 4.

The line is some 97% complete and trains are expected to start running in July 2024.

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