A training centre in the North East which mocks up the scene firefighters face when tackling a collapsed building has been hailed as a UK first.
The Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) facility has been built in Washington to help fire crews train for the rescue of casualties from disaster zones.
Chief fire officer, Chris Lowther, said: “This state-of-the-art training aid allows us to simulate that type of disaster and offers realistic training for those specialist crews.”
A network of chambers, connected by 180ft of concrete pipeworks, has been covered with rubble at the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service's training centre.
The huge structure simulates the scene of a real-life disaster and snakes through the training yard at the fire service's headquarters.
It will be used by the service’s Urban Search and Rescue team, to hone and maintain their specialist skills.