This is not the first time a big fire broke out in the soundproof tunnel.
Two years ago, there was a fire similar to yesterday (29th) in Gyeonggi-do, but even now, safety measures have not been properly prepared.
The government belatedly launched a fact-finding investigation.
Reporter Lee Hye-mi covered the story.
In August 2020, a fire broke out in a soundproof tunnel installed on an overpass in Gwanggyo New Town, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do.
As the fire started in the car and moved to the sound barrier, 200m of the entire 500m section of the tunnel was burned.
It was right after a fire accident in another soundproof tunnel nearby just two days ago.
Fortunately, there were no casualties as it was early in the morning, but it was an accident that showed how vulnerable soundproof tunnels are to fire.
Although such accidents followed and there was a warning from the Road Traffic Research Institute, the government's measures for the safety of soundproof tunnels were insufficient.
In 2016, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport mandated soundproof tunnels to be equipped with disaster prevention facilities, but there was no information on tunnel materials.
Even under the current Fire Protection Act, soundproof tunnels are not regulated as road tunnels, so they are also missing from various firefighting equipment standards.
[Gong Ha-seong/Professor, Department of Fire and Disaster Prevention, Kyungil University: When we say road tunnel, it is specified that it is an underground structure with a roof.
However, soundproof tunnels are all ground structures.
It is not subject to the fire safety standards for road tunnels.]
At the end of last year, the Board of Audit and Inspection suggested the need to reinforce the fire safety standards for soundproof tunnels.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs began research service only this summer.
[Won Hee-ryong/Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport: I feel the responsibility of the government as the person in charge of the government for what has been delayed so far.
We will take thorough safety measures without postponing the issues that have been raised.]
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has decided to conduct a full inspection of soundproof tunnels across the country and completely replace or reinforce soundproof tunnels made of materials vulnerable to fire.
In addition, it was announced that it would fix the lack of regulations and systems related to the soundproof tunnel, but it seems difficult to avoid criticism for visiting medicine after the fact.
(Video editing: Ha Seong-won, VJ: Park Hyeon-woo)
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