Incident directory

1995 - M4 Bristol

25/12/1995

Country:

UK

  • Road Incidents

Severity:

Near miss

Description

Date of event

25th December 1995

Time of event

09:23 HRS (INITIAL CALL)

Name of premises

M4 Motorway.

Location

M4 Motorway, Westbound, Junction 20 to 21 Almondsbury Interchange to Aust.

Service area

Avon Fire Brigade (AFB) now Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AFRS).

Nature of incident

Car fire initially then redirected to road traffic accident (RTA) persons trapped, now road traffic collision (RTC) persons trapped.

Property type

Motorway

Premises use

Road transport

Construction type and materials

Concrete and asphalt with steel Armco barriers.

Occupancy

Vehicle drivers and passengers

Fire source and location of fire

Initial fire within car at M4 services at Aust.

Synopsis

Brief Synopsis

On the 25th December 1995, Patchway fire station water tender ladder (A52) was mobilised to a car fire at Aust services on the M4. On route the appliance was redirected to a road traffic accident (RTA) (now road traffic collision (RTC)) persons trapped where a red Ford Sierra had hit the central reservation and ended up on the hard shoulder (photo 8) due to the icy conditions. The Police (Avon and Somerset Constabulary) were first in attendance and shortly after their arrival their range rover (photo’s 7) was struck by another range rover (photo 2) which subsequently overturned approximately 100 to 150 m further down the motorway. There was a family within this car who were assisted from it by the fire service.

A52 booked in attendance at 09:26 and ‘over shot’ the incident, due to the icy conditions, parking initially some way in front of the overturned Range Rover (photo 2). A52 reversed back up the motorway a distance towards the Range Rover (photo 2) and then parked in front of it with no scene protection or fend off. 2 Ff’s including Ff 1 were instructed to walk back up the hard shoulder and warn oncoming vehicles coming down the Motorway to slow down. Sometime after this a Jaguar (photo 4) approached the scene, lost control on the ‘black ice’, crossed onto the hard shoulder and struck Ff 1. The other firefighter (Ff 2) was not struck.

Ff 1 when struck was propelled through the air and came to rest in the Police Range Rover boot (photo’s 7) that had been open from the previous collision. Ff 1 suffered 2 crushed vertebrae (T4 and T5), a fractured pelvis (stable ring fracture), a broken and dislocated Talus bone (right ankle), a fractured right radius bone (lower arm), a fractured scaphoid (right hand), facial fractures around both eye sockets and nose and severe bruising at numerous locations around his body.

Photo 1

Courtesy of Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AFRS).

Photo 2

Courtesy of Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AFRS).

Photo 3

Courtesy of Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AFRS).

 Photo 4

Courtesy of Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AFRS).

Photo 5

Courtesy of Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AFRS).

Photo 6

Courtesy of Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AFRS).

Main findings, key lessons & areas for learning

Avon Fire Brigade summary of key lesson areas

Taken from Avon Fire & Rescue Service.  Course, A., Firefighter 1. & unknown (2016) M4 Motorway near miss, 25th December 1995.

  • Scene safety and scene fend off.
  • Understanding and implementing incident command.
  • Pre-planning and operational procedures for incidents on highways.
  • Procedures for dealing with incidents on highways.
  • Equipment and PPE use.
  • Joint working with other agencies.

FBU summary of main findings, key lessons & recommendations

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

IFE Commentary & lessons if applicable

None produced at this time.

Known available source documents

FRS Incident Report/s

Course, A., Firefighter 1. & unknown (2016) M4 Motorway near miss, 25th December 1995. [unpublished pdf]. Avon Fire & Rescue Service.

FBU Incident Report/s

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Incident Report/s

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary Incident Report/s

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

Building Research Establishment (BRE) Reports/investigations/research

Not relevant.

Coroner’s report/s

Not relevant.

Other information sources

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

Service learning material

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

Videos available

No information identified to date and/or still to be located.

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