British scientists develop bomb-proof trains to prevent repeat of London Underground terrorist attack

Jan 24 2013, 15:09 IST
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SummaryTrain carriages could be bomb-proofed to prevent a repeat of the carnage carried out by the London Underground terrorist attacks.

Train carriages could be bomb-proofed to prevent a repeat of the carnage carried out by the London Underground terrorist attacks.

British engineers have developed blast-resilient rolling stock after learning lessons from the July 7, 2005 suicide bombings.

According to the Telegraph, they hope to offer advice to the rail industry on how to protect passengers.

The EU-funded SecureMetro project was launched three years ago to test designs for over ground and Tube carriages that minimise death and injury in the event of a bomb attack, the report said.

Experts focused on two main areas, containing the blast impact and reducing levels of debris that kill and maim and impede emergency services.

According to the report, the research involved a controlled explosion on a decommissioned Tube carriage.

High speed cameras were used to slow down the blast, allowing its impact on the vehicle’s structure and interior to be analysed in detail.

A similar test was later carried out on a prototype carriage specially built to reduce the devastating damage caused by a bomb detonating inside it, the report said.

Blast-protection measures included tethering down heavy components such as ceiling panels with retention wire, plastic coatings on windows, and the use of lighter energy-absorbing materials.

The engineers also investigated dividing carriages with materials that soak up energy and reduce the impact of a blast wave, the report added.

According to the report, four Islamist suicide bombers took part in the 7/7 attacks, blowing themselves up on three London Underground trains and a double-decker bus. Fifty-two people were killed and almost 800 injured.

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