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Sliding Down to Safety, Castle Style

Castles Video Kumamoto

Kumamoto Prefecture, on the southern island of Kyushu, put on an impressive display for the annual Cultural Property Fire Prevention Day at Kumamoto Castle, with emergency services and about 80 staff members revealing exactly what it takes to safeguard a castle in modern times.

Held annually on January 26, Cultural Property Fire Prevention Day is an event that has been implemented ever since fire destroyed part of Horyu-ji Temple in Nara in 1949, causing severe damage to a number of important cultural items. Disaster prevention measures and evacuation drills are now performed on this day to minimize fire damage and safeguard visitors in case of a dangerous event.

With 13 structures in the castle complex designated as Important Cultural Properties, maneuvering vehicles into position to douse water on specific areas is an important task. Here, fire services hose down the Udo Turret, a nationally designated Important Cultural Property.

Part of the disaster training drill involves rescue tasks using hook-and-ladder trucks.

And for the fastest way to evacuate a large number of people from a burning building, they rolled out this unusual item.

The flexible chute stretches from the main castle tower all the way to the ground below. Held in place with rope, metal rings and a handful of people, there’s no need for an inflatable cushion here!

To take a look at the day’s proceedings, including a shot of the evacuation chute fluttering in the wind, check out the short video above!

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