Virgin's 747s: emergency escape markings

From: (Jean-Francois Mezei)
Organization: DECUServe
Date:         18 Dec 95 15:26:04 
Followups:    1 2 3 4
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During a recent use of Heathrow Airport, I noticed a Virgin Atlantic 747-400.

It had some markings in 2 or 3 places, somewhat well above the windows. These
markings *seemed* to indicate where escape would be possible (I *assume*
emergency crews would have to somehow punch through the skin to get to

Does anyone have any more information on the matter ? As well, what sort of
interior arrangements have been done ? The positioning of these areas leeds me
to beleive that the rescuers would also have to punch through the overhead
luggage racks after they punched through the skin of plane.

Is Virgin the only airline to have such markings. Is this a feature unique to
Virvin's 747-400s or are all 747-400s like that with other airlines not having
markings ?

Finally: WHY are these there ? Under what sort of conditions would rescuers
have to cut through the fuselage in such an emergency that these markings would
save them those valuable seconds ?