Airport exercise simulated the handling of dangerous goods accident: result deemed smooth and met target

Participating in regular exercises is part of the training programme for the personnel in Macau International Airport. Through organizing different types of exercise, the airport aims to enhance the capacity in dealing with emergencies of the government entities and the operators involved in the airport search and rescue. The yearly full-scale emergency exercise was carried out this morning (31 October 2013) in Macau International Airport with the scenario of an unknown gas attacking the airport personnel during the x-ray security screening of checked baggage. The airport emergency plan was immediately activated to deal with the accident. The scenario of this exercise was different from those that have been adopted in previous years which mainly focused on the handling of emergencies associated with aircraft accident. In the simulation of today, the ground handling personnel were suddenly attacked by a pungent smell while loading the checked baggage of an arrival flight on to the x-ray machine in the make-up area for security screening. The personnel in the vicinities felt suffocating and their throat was severely affected with burning symptoms. Some of the personnel fainted. When the accident was reported to the airport authorities, the airport emergency operations centre was immediately activated to take charge of the accident. When the airport fire services arrived at the make-up area, an explosion occurred on scene and led to a fire, causing a number of injuries. With the assistance provided by and the cooperation between the participating entities involved in search and rescue, the dangerous goods in the cargo consignment were eventually handled in a proper manner. The injured were sent to hospital for medical treatment. The exercise was carried out from 07:00 to 09:00 this morning. The Administration of Airports Ltd. was the coordinator of this drill. Other participating entities were Unitary Police Force, Macao Customs Services, Public Security Police Force, Judiciary Police, Fire Services Bureau, Security Coordination Office, Health Bureau, Marine and Water Bureau, Civil Aviation Authority, CAM-Macau International Airport Company Ltd., Air Macau Co. Ltd., Macau Jet International Co. Ltd., Macau Security Company Ltd. (airport security) and Menzies Macau Airport Services Ltd. About 100 people participated in this exercise. The whole exercise was deemed smooth and met the target result. Two other exercises were carried out in Macau International Airport earlier this year, the fuel farm exercise in March and the unlawful seizure of aircraft exercise in July.

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