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Automatic sprinkler for Saigon River tunnel put to test

By Thanh Tung, Gia Minh   October 26, 2022 | 12:45 am PT
An automatic firefighting system has been tested before entering service at Thu Thiem Tunnel linking District 1 with Thu Duc City under the Saigon River.
Automatic sprinkler for Saigon River tunnel put to test

Two thermoelectric generators help test the response time of the fire alarm system.

As designed, aside from automatically detecting fire and putting it out as soon as possible, the system could divide the affected area into smaller zones to ensure accurate management.

Built at the cost of VND95 billion ($4.1 million) in 2021, the automatic firefighting system is the first to be set up in a tunnel in Vietnam.

To test the system, the tunnel had been closed to traffic from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. on three nights of Oct. 23, 24 and 25. The temporary shutdown only affects cars and trucks as normally, motorbikes are not allowed in the tunnel during this period.

Automatic sprinkler for Saigon River tunnel put to test

Workers check the system before trialing it. The system comprises a water pump, water pipes, and sprinklers.

Automatic sprinkler for Saigon River tunnel put to test

A sprinkler spreads out high-pressure mist.

Automatic sprinkler for Saigon River tunnel put to test

An engineer checks the operating sprinklers.

"The ability to automatically detect and put out fire at an early stage will make evacuation easier and protect the tunnel structure," he said.

Automatic sprinkler for Saigon River tunnel put to test

Water drains away along both sides of the tunnel.

Automatic sprinkler for Saigon River tunnel put to test

The Thu Thiem tunnel, built in 2011, is the only river tunnel in Vietnam and the longest of its kind in Southeast Asia.

It is 1.49 km long, 33 meters wide and nine meters high and has six lanes and two emergency exit lanes.

Some 47,000 cars and up to 270,000 motorbikes use the tunnel every day.

Automatic sprinkler for Saigon River tunnel put to test

When a fire occurs, the alarm system will light up to direct people toward the emergency exit.

Automatic sprinkler for Saigon River tunnel put to test

Before the automatic system, firefighting in Thu Thiem tunnel occurred manually.

Firefighters frequently joined training courses and conducted drills inside the tunnel to limit damage should a fire take place.

 
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