First Responders Test Disaster Preparedness at Newark Airport

The Port Authority held a full-scale emergency drill involving two airplanes at Newark Liberty International Airport (NJ), reports The Bergen Record.

In the drill, an incoming United Airlines flight had made a hard landing at Newark Liberty International Airport, skidded and crashed into a departing FedEx cargo plane, injuring numerous passengers.

Volunteer “passengers” covered in faux blood were sprawled on the ground around the planes while thick smoke drifted up from both aircraft. The FedEx plane, emergency responders learned, also was reported to have hazardous materials on board.

Now it was up to federal, state and local authorities and first responders to test how they coordinate extinguishing the fires, investigating the hazardous cargo and tending to the injured and dead.

“It’s creating a scenario that’s as real as the real thing and challenges them to use the same types of communication and responses that they would in a real scenario,” said Anthony Hayes, assistant director of media at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The two-hour drill involved 300 first responders, 150 volunteers, 100 support personnel, 30 mannequins and 80 vehicles.

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