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A forensic analysis of a fatal fire in an indoor shooting range using coupled fire and evacuation modelling tools

A forensic analysis of a fatal fire in an indoor shooting range using coupled fire and evacuation modelling tools

Wang, Zhaozhi, Jia, Fuchen, Galea, Edwin Richard ORCID: 0000-0002-0001-6665 and Choi, Jun-Ho (2017) A forensic analysis of a fatal fire in an indoor shooting range using coupled fire and evacuation modelling tools. Fire Safety Journal, 91. pp. 892-900. ISSN 0379-7112 (Print), 1873-7226 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.firesaf.2017.03.029)

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Abstract

In this paper, coupled fire and evacuation computer simulations are used to numerically reconstruct a fatal fire that occurred in an indoor shooting range in Pusan, Korea in 2009. Of the 16 building occupants, 15 were killed and only one survived with serious injuries. The analysis demonstrates that these modelling techniques can accurately reproduce the outcome of this fire. The numerical approach is then used to forensically analyse the incident to determine what factors significantly contributed to the high loss of life. In particular, the occupant response times are analysed as is the impact of the flame spread rate on the polyurethane foam cladded walls of the shooting range. The results suggest that it is unlikely that anyone could have survived if response times were greater than 5 seconds. Furthermore, the analysis suggests that fatalities could not have been completely avoided even if the occupants had zero response time. In addition, it is demonstrated that gunpowder residue on the polyurethane foam walls is the critical factor in producing the high loss of life in this incident. The average number of fatalities could be reduced from an average of 14.9 in the reconstruction case with gunpowder residue on the polyurethane foam walls to an average of 0.1 if the walls are completely free of gunpowder residue. However, to completely eliminate fire related casualties, it is necessary to use a polyurethane foam wall cladding material with low flame spread rates together with an effective gunpowder cleaning system.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fire investigation; Forensics; Shooting range fire; Fire simulation; Evacuation simulation; Response time
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Centre for Numerical Modelling & Process Analysis (CNMPA) > Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG)
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Department of Mathematical Sciences
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2018 00:38
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: GREAT b
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/16548

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