Crash simulation lights up Orly

Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier's Twitter picture from the 'crash' aircraft

More than 1,000 involved in disaster scenario to test rescue teams' coordination and communication

A MASSIVE training exercise at Paris-Orly saw dozens of blue lights flashing along the roads to the airport as more than 1,000 people were involved in an air crash simulation to test rescue services.

Hundreds of pompiers, ambulances and police were brought in and even Transport Minister Frédéric Cuvillier arrived to make the scene more realistic.

Last night's exercise was based on an A300 passenger jet crashing at the end of the runway after an engine caught fire on landing. It was carrying around 130 passengers and first estimates said there were 50 dead and another 50 injured. Soldiers played the part of the dead and injured.

It involved hundreds of pompiers, gendarmes, policiers, Samu and Croix-Rouge as they tested out the coordination of the services and how they communicated.

The exercise highlighted problems in getting passenger lists and Creteil procureur Nathalie Becache told Le Figaro: "Identifying the number of victims is the key aim."

The exercise started around 21.00 and did not finish until after 1.30.
Picture from Frédéric Cuvillier Twitter

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