A mock-up train crash has been staged in Lincolnshire to test how well emergency crews could deal with the real thing. Hundreds of police, fire and ambulance teams were there. They had to deal with the accident as though it was unfolding for real in front of them complete with specially made-up victims. 999 crews were told to act like it was a genuine emergency as emergency planner Ian Reed from Lincolnshire County Council explains:
Every year Lincolnshire reconstructs a major incident the county could face. The scenario that was set up today was the aftermath of a train crash with some carriages ending up on their side and casualties inside needing rescuing. It collided with a tractor on a level crossing and subsequently a tanker crashed into a school and began leaking dangerous chemicals into a waterway. The reconstruction was thought up by Spencer Creek from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue:
Making it more convincing were ten volunteers from Amputees in Action who were made up to look severely injured. One was played by Georgina Minter:
The group was invited along to add realism to the event and help emergency personnel to consider what they would do if confronted by a real amputee as the group's Karl Ives explains:
As the fake scenario unfolded teams were told seven people had died. Alongside emergency crews Network Rail and the Environment Agency were in attendance. The Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police Neil Rhodes attended the event to see how his crews responded and was pleased with how realistic it looked:
The exercise continues tomorrow before it is reviewed for any lessons to be learnt.
Watch James Webster's full report from the event simulation below: