Hundreds of ‘trapped passengers’ played a part in the largest disaster simulation ever to be staged in Europe – and it made for a terrifying spectacle.
The exercise simulated the horrific aftermath of a tower block falling into Waterloo station, The Mirror reports.
As part of an £800,000 four-day exercise, the staged catastrophe involved more than 4,000 people in order to prepare emergency crews for large-scale disasters.
The drill will run Monday through to Thursday and is designed to test the contingency planning of more than 70 organisations – from mortuaries to search and rescue services.
In order to create the most realistic environment possible, the entire Waterloo station was recreated in a disused power station and then ‘crushed’ with rubble.
According to The Telegraph, workers were confronted with tube ticket barriers smeared with blood and ‘casualties’ whose injuries had been realistically created by make up artists.
Actors covered in fake blood could be seen howling in pain as emergency services treated their disturbingly realistic trauma injuries.
Ron Dobson, London Fire Brigade’s commissioner, has described tube tunnels as ‘the worst place possible’ for rescues.
He told the Evening Standard:
We needed to create a realistic scenario, there’s hundreds of thousands of tons of rubble.
One of the things we were criticized for on 7/7 was confusion between emergency services. It took us too long to agree there wasn’t a chemical involved. That wouldn’t happen in the future.
Chief Constable Debbie Simpson, of National Police Chiefs, added:
When disaster strikes families need to be confident that the authorities are doing everything they can.
Talk about incredible preparation. Let’s hope the emergency services never have to actually put these skills to use on a major operation like this in the future.