However, changing to fire-resistant materials does not solve everything.

The lack of basic facilities for extinguishing or evacuating fires is also a problem.

This is reporter Kim Ji-wook.


A soundproof tunnel in Nowon-gu, Seoul, which opened in 2020, uses PMMA material and is installed on an overpass, structurally similar to the soundproof tunnel of the 2nd Gyeongin Expressway.

I toured the entire 1,400-meter tunnel, but there are no fire alarms or sprinklers like the accident tunnel.

You can see a fan and a fire extinguisher that take the smoke out in the middle, but it's not enough.

[Yongjae Lee/Professor, Department of Fire Safety Management, Kyungmin University: It may be more effective to send the smoke vertically rather than to the side (as is currently the case).

It is impossible to put out a fire in a vehicle (with a fire extinguisher).

So it is desirable to have a fire hydrant or an indoor fire hydrant.]

Emergency evacuation also has structural problems.

There are two such emergency evacuation routes in this soundproof tunnel, and since the gap between the two evacuation routes is wide and they are also in a curved position, it is difficult to find an evacuation route even if it is a short distance away.

[Yongjae Lee/Professor, Department of Fire Safety Management, Kyungmin University: There is another one like this about 225m away from here.

(The regulations) are supposed to be spaced about 100m apart.

There is one part that needs to be improved, that the separation distance is too far.]

Another soundproof tunnel in the vicinity opened around the same time cannot be found as an emergency evacuation, and there are no disaster prevention facilities other than a few fire extinguishers.

Most of the soundproof tunnels have this problem, because unlike normal tunnels, there are many exempted regulations.

In 2016, when the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs revised the guidelines for general tunnels, regulations on soundproof tunnels came into existence for the first time. In some cases, it was stipulated that broadcasting equipment, emergency lighting, and evacuation facilities do not need to be installed.

Experts point out that similar accidents can happen at any time unless the relevant laws and regulations are in parallel.

(Video coverage: Yoon Hyung, video editing: Yoon Tae-ho)