On 6 November in The Hague, Netherlands, UIC together with the PREDICT project partners organised the first PREDICT Workshop on UIC case study.
In the framework of the PREDICT project, three table-top exercises will be organised around three use cases developed in close engagement with the end-user community. These engagements intend to assess their understanding of Critical Infrastructure dependencies and the potential of cascading effects in case of failures, to identify their needs for supporting tools in their decision making processes, and – at later stages in the project – to assess the value of interim and final versions of the PREDICT Suite.
This experts meeting was the initial kick-off meeting of the use case on International Railway Emergency. It set the stage, presented the objective of PREDICT and outlined the scenario of the case. End-users were invited to validate this scenario, and exchanged their views on best practices, use of tools and operational requirements for decision support tools in crisis situations.
Within the scope of the project WP 7 / Task 7.1 Guidance to Case Leaders to engage End-users and elicit End-user requirements, the presented railway scenario covers a dangerous goods freight train derailment and fire.
The location of the accident is close to the tunnel in Rheinartzkehl (one side in Germany, the other one in Belgium). The main objectives of this scenario are to increase awareness and understanding of cascading effects, enhance their preparedness and improve their response capability in case of cascading failures. This case study will be transformed into a tabletop exercise in the future.
The consequences of this scenario are two tanks loaded with liquid gas that set fire to the other train wagons also containing dangerous chemicals. The wind blows pushing the chemical cloud towards the Netherlands and partially into Belgium. Finally, the explosions and heat of the fire extend to the surrounding area into a small farm. People and animals need to be evacuated (two fatalities and six severely injured).
Following the presentation of the scenario, fruitful discussions were held between the experts. It was finally decided to adopt a common position in concluding that this case study will have three different member states covering at least two operational levels (civil protection and railways): one for first responders gathering technical and functional needs. Another dedicated to certain end-user needs to which the process is dedicated.
The next step following this workshop will be to better understand the roles and responsibilities of each of the two levels and their interdependencies.