umu.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
One hundred years of railway disasters and recent trends
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
2011 (English)In: Prehospital and disaster medicine, ISSN 1049-023X, Vol. 26, no 5, 367-373 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

INTRODUCTION: Globally, railway transport is increasing steadily. Despite the adoption of diverse safety systems, major railway incidents continue to occur. Higher speeds and increased passenger traffic are factors that influence the risk of mass-casualty incidents and make railway crashes a reality that merits extensive planning and training.

METHODS: Data on railway disasters were obtained from the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), which maintains the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT). This descriptive study consists of 529 railway disasters (≥10 killed and/or ≥100 non- fatally injured) from 1910 through 2009.

RESULTS: The number of railway disasters, people killed, and non-fatally injured, has increased throughout the last hundred years-particularly during the last four decades (1970-2009), when 88% of all disasters occurred. In the mid-20th century, a shift occurred, resulting in more people being non-fatally injured than fatally injured. During 1970-2009, 74% of all railway disasters occurred in Asia, Africa, and South and Central America, combined. The remaining 26% occurred in Europe, North America, and Oceania, combined. Since 1980, railway disasters have increased, especially in Asia and Africa, while Europe has had a decrease in railway disasters. The number killed per disaster (1970-2009) was highest in Africa (n = 55), followed by South and Central America (n = 47), and Asia (n = 44). The rate was lowest in North America (n = 10) and Europe (n = 29). On average, the number of non-fatal injuries per disaster was two to three times the number of fatalities, however, in the African countries (except South Africa) the relation was closer to 1:1, which correlates to the relation found in more developed countries during the mid-20th century. The total losses (non-fatally and fatally injured) per disaster has shown a slight decreasing trend.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite extensive crash avoidance and injury reduction safety systems, railway crashes occur on all continents, indicating that this type of incident must be accounted for in disaster planning and training. Better developed safety, crashworthiness, and rescue resources in North America and Europe may be factors explaining why the number of crashes and losses has stabilized and why the average number of people killed per disaster is lowest on these continents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 26, no 5, 367-373 p.
Keyword [en]
Falling, Fracture, Prevention, Bone density, Osteoporosis
National Category
Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-57280DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X1100639XPubMedID: 21939583OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-57280DiVA: diva2:540730
Available from: 2012-07-11 Created: 2012-07-11 Last updated: 2012-11-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Train crashes: consequences for passengers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Train crashes: consequences for passengers
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Globally, and in Sweden, passenger railway transport is steadily increasing. Sweden has been relatively free from severe train crashes in the last decades, but the railway infrastructure is alarmingly worn and overburdened, which may be one reason for an increasing number of reported mishaps. Worldwide, major train crashes/disasters are a frequent cause of mass casualty incidents. Several shortcomings, especially within the crash and post-crash phases cause severe consequences for the passengers.

Aim: To investigate the consequences of train crashes on passengers, focusing on factors of importance in the crash and post-crash phases. The specific aims are: (I) to identify the historical development and magnitude of passenger train disasters globally on various continents and countries, (II, III) to identify injury panorama and injury objects in two train crashes, (IV) to explore survivor´s experiences from a train crash, and (V) to explore their experiences of journalists and media coverage.

Methods: Study I is a register study based on 529 railway disasters worldwide, whereas studies II-V are case studies from the two latest severe train crashes in Sweden (Nosaby and Kimstad). These studies are based on 73 and 21 passengers respectively. Studies I-III is essentially quantitative where descriptive statistics (I, III), multivariate analysis (III), and content analysis (II, III) are used. Studies II and III are also supplemented by semi-structured interviews. Studies IV and V are qualitative and the interviews (n=14, n=30) have been analyzed with qualitative content analysis. Study IV is also supplemented with quantitative data.

Results: The number of railway disasters, fatalities, and non-fatally injured passengers has increased throughout the last hundred years - particularly during the last four decades (1970–2009) when 88% of all disasters occurred (I). Passengers in the first overturned carriage suffered most severe and lethal injuries (III). Internal structures such as tables, chairs, internal walls, as well as luggage, other passengers (II, III), glass (II), and wood pellets (III) induced many of the injuries. Those who traveled facing forward with a table in front of them, in carriages that did not overturn, were more likely to sustain injuries to their abdomen/pelvis than those without a table (III). Passengers who traveled rear facing had higher rates of whiplash injuries. Surviving a train crash was experienced as "living in a mode of existential threat". The long term consequences however were diverse for different persons (IV). All experienced that they had cheated death, but some became "shackled by history", whereas others overcame the "haunting of unforgettable memories." The centrality of others and the importance of reconstructing the turn of events were important when "dealing with the unthinkable". The media coverage were experienced as positive in the recovery process and the journalists were also perceived as helpful (V). By some the journalist’s nevertheless were also perceived as harmful or negligible, and the subsequent media coverage as either uncomfortable or insignificant.

Conclusion: Despite extensive crash avoidance systems severe railway crashes still occur. Improved interior safety, as has been implemented in the automobile and aviation industries, would have an important reduction in injuries and facilitate evacuation. Being surrounded by family, friends, fellow passengers and participating in crash investigations, and experiencing descriptive media coverage were some crucial factors when dealing with the traumatic event and should be promoted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2012. 56 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1528
Keyword
Accident, crash, disaster, experiences, injuries, injury inducing objects, media coverage, railway, safety
National Category
Surgery
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-61291 (URN)978-91-7459-505-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-11-30, Sal B, 9 tr, Tandläkarhögskolan, Norrlands universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-11-09 Created: 2012-11-08 Last updated: 2012-11-14Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Forsberg, RebeccaBjörnstig, Ulf
By organisation
Surgery
Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

doi
pubmed
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
pubmed
urn-nbn
Total: 401 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf