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Shipping container emergency door release

Interior release mechanism
  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
  [vote for,

For whatever reason, people have died trapped in shipping containers. It would be very easy to include an interior release mechanism (that overcomes whatever locks and seals) to allow escape of trapped people
Frankx, Oct 23 2019

BBC Updates & Summary https://www.bbc.co....land-essex-50152633
[Skewed, Oct 23 2019]

Typical container latch https://www.alamy.c...ainer-17163803.html
Just unbolt the two bolts on each clasp and push it away from the door. [scad mientist, Oct 24 2019]


       Given the rod-and-camlock design of standard shipping containers it is impossible to engineer an interior release.   

       It's impossible to lock oneself inside a container.   

       If shut in, the best thing to do is bang on the side which makes a loud noise and attracts attention.
8th of 7, Oct 23 2019

       // it is impossible to engineer an interior release.// I don't believe that. Even if it were true, you could always put a new door in the other end of the container (or set into the existing door) with a mechanism openable only from the inside. On the other hand, who is going to pay for a safety feature for people who shouldn't be there in the first place?   

       But were the recent deaths in a container? The reports suggested they were in a non-container lorry.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 23 2019

       //were the recent deaths in a container?//   

       Reports variously call it a refrigerated unit, a shipping container of refrigerated type & a trailer, enough pictures here (link) to judge for yourself.
Skewed, Oct 23 2019

       A release from inside would be simple to devise. All it needs do is open the back of the slots where the bar cams lock into position, then pushing against the doors from the inside would open them. Meanwhile, wouldn't a quick air sample analysis from any container would reveal the presence of human breath?
xenzag, Oct 23 2019

       Yes, then Zyklon-B could be be introduced through the same aperture.
8th of 7, Oct 23 2019

Frankx, Oct 23 2019

       I'm with [Frankx] on that one.   

       And, looking at the news footage, it seems to have been a refrigerated lorry rather than a container.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 23 2019

       Engineering a solution is not difficult. It would probably not be practicable to retrofit to existing containers. Given the standardisation of containers through ISO, if mandated, it could be incorporated in future containers for a negligible cost delta per unit.
Frankx, Oct 23 2019

       From the photos, it’s a “reefer” - a refrigerated container.
Frankx, Oct 23 2019

       Jeezus. That explains why I couldn't get mine lit.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 23 2019

       Well, it might not be needed, but it looks to me like it wouldn't be very hard at all to design an easily retrofitted internal release mechanism on a standard shipping container. Typically, the handle that rotates the CAM lock is held in place by a pad-lockable clasp that is bolted to the door (see photo in link). So all you need to do is replace the bolts holding the clasp with something that can be released from the inside without tools. One of those bolt replacements needs to be long a couple feet long so it can be used to push the handle away from the door to rotate the cams. Put a joint in it so it can fold flat against the inside of the door when not in use.   

       For roll-up doors I think you'd just need to unbolt the latch from the door.
scad mientist, Oct 24 2019

       Shades of Dexter
Voice, Oct 24 2019

       I thought everyone was aware that shipping containers are regularly converted into housing, with emergency exits and everything. That's how 8th got out of his containment unit.
4and20, Oct 24 2019

       No, we just beamed out.   

       Why the fuss ? Containers are designed, for very good reasons, to be airtight and watertight. They are not passenger vehicles (altho those who choose to daily attempt non-erotic compression asphyxia on London Underground might have reason to question that).   

       We suggest not a door release mechanism, but an internally accessible EPIRB. If you are stuck inside, hit the luminescent alarm button. An internationally recognized radio signal summons assistance. If you are legitimately in the container (mistakes do happen), smile and thank your rescuers. If not, that's your problem.   

       No need to modify the containers at all other than a small waterproof gland through which to pass the antenna feeder cable. Reefers already have passthroughs for the refrigerant circuit and the thermostat wiring. Put an audio sounder outside too, for purely local alerting.   

       This improves safety, but does not encourage or enable self-smuggling.
8th of 7, Oct 24 2019

       Turns out they were Chinese, I seem to recall another large number of Chinese dead in a shipping container or some such only a few years back? & then there was the group drowned on the mud flats (a cocle picking workgang wasn't it, all illegal migrants & also Chinese?) not that long back.   

       Makes me wonder, do we have a particular problem (as in there being more deaths associated with them than other nationalities) with trafficking & slave gangs exploiting Chinese nationals in the UK?
Skewed, Oct 24 2019

       It seems more likely that it is China that has a problem with citizens wanting to leave.   

       The impulse to travel arises both from an alternative location being attractive, and your current location being unattractive. Hence the prevalence of tourism, where humans move to another location for a relatively short period, then return voluntarily to their starting point.   

       A permanent relocation is less common, but far from impossible.
8th of 7, Oct 24 2019

       All true but that wasn't my question, the object of my curiosity was more along the lines of 'are Chinese nationals availing themselves of illegal relocation services to the UK more at risk of death than other nationals in a similar position'.
Skewed, Oct 24 2019

       Well, sounds like there's an easy sociology Ph.D. in there for someone.   

       It's not possible to say if that someone is Chinese or not without further research.
8th of 7, Oct 24 2019

       //No, we just beamed out. // I've told you before, just saying "wooooooo00000OOOOOOO" while you move from one place to another is not, technically "beaming".
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 24 2019


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