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Evacuation Behavior in a Subway Train Emergency: A Video-based Analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>9/07/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Environment and Behavior
Number of pages29
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date9/07/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

How do people behave in the seconds after they become aware they have been caught up in a real-life transport emergency? This paper presents the first micro-behavioral, video-based analysis of the behavior of passengers during a small explosion and subsequent fire on a subway train. We analyzed the behavior of 40 passengers present in the same carriage as the explosion. We documented the first action of the passengers following the onset of the emergency and described evidence of pro- and anti-social behavior. Passengers’ first actions varied widely. Moreover, anti-social behavior was rare and displays of pro-sociality were more common. In a quantitative analysis, we examined spatial clustering of running behavior and patterns in passenger exit choices. We found both homogeneity and heterogeneity in the running behavior and exiting choices of passengers. We discuss the implications of these findings for the mass emergency literature and for evacuation modeling.