Crews Tested with Disaster Exercise; PRACTICE: Staged Explosion Gives Officers and Medics 'Real as Possible' Experience
Byline: Helen Thomas
FIRE crews, paramedics and police officers were all in action in a staged major incident in Coventry city centre.
They were called to reports of a chemical explosion at Coventry University, which killed two people and injured many more.
But there was no need for the public to panic as the incident on Sunday was all part of live exercise to test the city's emergency responses to a major incident.
More than 150 people took part in the test including all of the emergency services, British Red Cross, the city council, Coventry NHS, St John's Ambulance, University Hospital and volunteers playing the parts of the injured.
In the morning emergency calls were made reporting the incident, which was supposed to have happened in a laboratory on the ground floor of Sir John Laing Building.
The scenario was it was caused by an accidental spillage of ammonia which caused an explosion. The laboratory was occupied by 17 people and a meeting was taking place in the building next door, involving up to 50 people.
Police were drafted in to cordon off the scene and deal with passers by while fire crews and paramedics dealt with the disaster.
Planning operations inspector Tony Irwing, of Little Park Street, said he was pleased with how the operation, named Exercise White Friar, progressed. …