Study of Occupant Behavior During the World Trade Center Evacuation: Preliminary Report of Results.
Study of Occupant Behavior During the World Trade Center
Evacuation: Preliminary Report of Results.
Fahy, R. F.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
and Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE).
International Conference on Fire Research and
Engineering (ICFRE). Proceedings. September 10-15,
1995, Orlando, FL, SFPE, Boston, MA, Lund, D. P.;
Angell, E. A., Editor(s)(s), 197-202 pp, 1995.
Sponsor:National Institute of Standards and Technology,
fire research; human factors engineering; evacuation;
human behavior; smoke movement; fire alarm systems;
bombs (ordnance); explosions; people movement;
occupants; terrorists; terrorism; World Trade Center
On February 26, 1993, shortly after noon, a bomb
exploded in a subterranean garage below the World Trade
Center plaza in New York City. The explosions and
subsequent fire caused extensive structural damage on
several basement levels, interferred with the operation
of the fire protection and other emergency systems and
resulted in the evacuation of over 100,000 occupants of
the complex. The National Fire Protection Association
(NFPA) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC)
undertook a research project, funded by the National
Institute of Standards and Technology, the General
Services Administration, NFPA and NRC, to study the
human behavior of building occupants in this incident
and to document, to the extent possible, those
engineering details such as building design, fire safety
features, and smoke spread, that effected behavior. The
purpose of this project was to collect and preserve
human behavior data. The information gathered will aid
in the understanding of what people do in fires and why
and how those actions may conform to or differ from the
assumptions used in designing and planning for life
safety in such a large building. Results will help in
work toward the improvement of fire safety in similar
occupancies and to enhance the knowledge needed in the
development of emergency evacuation models.