Different kind of response needed for fire in tunnels

In the medical world, when a patient has a heart attack, we call and wait for the ambulance to arrive.

In the event of a special circumstance, when the heart stops beating, we need to make an immediate and different response to cope with the situation, performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) .

When a car catches fire in in a tunnel, as in the case on Tuesday (Fire in KPE tunnel leads to evacuation; Aug 30), it is not a normal vehicle fire and it calls for a different response. If no one does anything, the fire could spread to nearby cars and envelop the tunnel.

This is a special circumstance that needs immediate action.All motorists should have the knowledge and training on how to extinguish a fire in the car engine to enable them to act in a situation like this.

The Land Transport Authority would also need to change its standing instructions when it comes to vehicle fire in tunnels - the people nearby may have to be told to act quickly.

We should learn from this mishap to avoid tragedy in future.

George Wong Seow Choon (Dr)

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