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Elon Musk’s massive ‘Vegas Loop’ tunnel is off to a bad start. Not only has it been branded the ‘lamest thing’ in the city, but some believe it’s a ‘death trap’.
He’s spearheaded the household name for premium electric cars with Tesla, shot for the stars with SpaceX, envisioned a ‘mega-constellation’ of WiFi satellites with Starlink, and is currently finessing a wireless brain chip with Neuralink. Now, Musk has done something really radical – he’s built a big, silly tunnel.
Back in 2016, the tech giant tweeted, ‘Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging.’ Six years later, ‘The Boring Company’ has let drivers tour its 40ft-deep tunnel, running at nearly two miles long.
However, in a clip shared to Reddit by u/vd772, two concerns have emerged: one, there’s still traffic jams; and two, the narrow tunnels have sparked worries over fire hazards and drivers’ means of escape in the event of an accident.
Quoting Nikola Tesla, who famously said, ‘You may live to see man-made horrors beyond your comprehension’, one Redditor wrote, ‘It’s just a matter of time before a tunnel like this becomes the site of a horrible accident with a bunch people stuck in a narrow tube with no ventilation and a burning battery producing poisonous fumes.’
‘That tube is a death trap,’ another user wrote. ‘I’m surprised it’s even legal. No lighting, no ventilation, no fire detection or suppression, not enough space between the cars and the wall to walk out… they are asking for trouble. If somehow a car catches fire, people will die,’ a third added.
According to The Boring Company’s website, the tunnels have been designed with safety in mind. ‘Loop has no internal touch hazards (e.g. a 600 volt third rail), enabling safe evacuation, minimising potential fire sources, and eliminating any dangerous effects of (unlikely) water intrusion (Teslas can safely handle some rain),’ it states.
‘In the unlikely case that a fire does occur, the tunnel’s redundant, bidirectional ventilation system will remove the smoke to allow passengers to safely evacuate.
‘Loop tunnels are outfitted with emergency exits, fire detection systems, fire suppression systems, and a fire-rated first responder emergency communication system. The systems are tested frequently with local Police and Fire Departments.’
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