Mon, May 21, 2007
Catastrophe Simulation Biggest Ever In UK
It was a simulated disaster
involving 1,200 people that was 18 months in the planning.
It included police, fire and ambulance crews, three airports,
five hospitals, and 200 role-playing student nurses, that took
place in Belfast on Sunday, reports the BBC.
The simulation, named Operation Exodus, focused on a
100-passenger flight leaving George Best Belfast City Airport and
bound for City of Derry Airport.
According to the simulation, soon after take-off a
catastrophic failure on board forced the plane to divert to Belfast
International, where it made a crash landing. The simulation
included numerous fatalities on board, as well as many serverly
injured "passengers" to test the airport's emergency medical
Up to 150 international observers assessed how authorities coped
under pressure. New systems and procedures were also tested
for the first time.
Speaking before the simulation, Fire Service group commander
Peter O'Reilly said the exercise would test emergency services in
"the biggest ever undertaken in the UK."
"It's everything associated with a crash landing -- the
fire itself and evacuating people trapped on the plane," he
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