Rescue services put to the test in airport emergency drill

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 January, 2007, 12:00am

Airport rescue workers rush a victim from a mock crash to an ambulance yesterday during a dawn emergency exercise. The drill, a large-scale simulation of a plane crash, was designed to test the Airport Authority's contingency plans. The exercise, code-named DeSoto, assumed that a British Airways passenger flight had undershot a runway, landing in the marshalling area of AsiaWorld-Expo and breaking into pieces. It was the first time an emergency exercise has been conducted on land outside the airport's restricted area. The Boeing 747 had 120 passengers and 18 crew on board.

Emergency services reached the scene within five minutes of the dawn 'crash', rescue workers evacuated the passengers and temporary clinics were set up for the injured. The exercise, which started at 6am, involved more than 1,000 people and 200 observers from more than 30 organisations and government departments. Airport management director Howard Eng said more than 30 drills are held every year to test preparedness.