Emergency Simulation at Alicante-Elche Airport This Week
Confirmed information has now been released concerning this week’s aircraft crash simulation which will take place around Alicante-Elche airport on Thursday.
The Security and Emergency Response Agency will be coordinating the event on November 9th, which can also be followed on social media with the hashtag #GranSimulacre2017.
The operation will simulate a commercial aircraft accident with multiple victims outside Alicante-Elche airport, with an area of intervention of 8 km around the incident scene.
In the scenario, the aircraft suffers a serious technical problem that makes it lose height abruptly. In the attempt to land, it crashes onto a street on the “Elche Parque Empresarial” industrial park, about 4 km from the airport, destroying several vehicles and coming to rest in one of the industrial buildings where several occupants were working and have become trapped. The spilled fuel catches fire and as collateral damage there is a limited forest fire.
In the crash, the aircraft split in two parts: the tail, with a large number of injured passengers, and the cabin area, with the majority of fatalities.
The General Director of the Valencian Agency for Security and Response to Emergencies, José María Ángel, stressed that this is a very complex exercise because “a large number of organisations from different administrations are involved, which are necessarily coordinated”.
In this sense, he added, “these activities are an opportunity to internalize the protocols that are not usually activate”, continuing, “we would not like to suffer an accident like this one of course, we have tried to contemplate most cases to assess the level of response”.
The activity, #GranSimulacre2017, will also involve the airport facilities, including the “family room”, where relatives will be collected and attended to.
The entire area around the airport will be affected by the incident, and so there will be numerous road closures and disruption to the normal daily operations on the road network, whilst the emergency services deal with the incident. There is not expected to be any disruption to flights, although passengers may be alarmed by the view of the scenario as they observe the activity.
The tourism offices across Alicante will be taken over as part of the scenario, becoming a central point for relatives to attend for information. This is standard practise for a major incident following an agreement with the tourism authority across the Valencia region. Help points will be set up at the tourist information offices at Alicante, Benidorm, Castellón, Denia, Valencia and Torrevieja.
The complexity of the simulation will require the participation of 444 personnel and 130 vehicles from 25 organisations from different administrations, the Generalitat, the Provincial Council, town halls, the General State Administration, private companies together with civil protection volunteers, NGOs and students.
A large number of resources will be mobilised, some extraordinary, which carry out searches, rescues, triage, health care, corpse surveys, traffic control and fire suppression.
The Plan on the Day
The operation will begin at 10:00 when preparations will be put in place.
At 11:30, the control tower at Alicante-Elche Airport will warn the 112 Emergency Coordination Centre of the disappearance of the aircraft from the radar screen and the appearance of a column of smoke a few kilometres away in the area where the aircraft went missing.
The Emergency Coordination Centre will notify the general director of the Valencian Agency for Security and Response to Emergencies, responsible for activating the Territorial Emergency Plan of the Valencian Community (CETPV).
At this point, Protocol Level 2 will be activated and an Advanced Command Post (PMA) will be set up for the coordination of information management, communications, and emergency protocols with multiple victims and contact areas for relatives will be implemented.
The airport will activate the self-protection plan and the external emergency plan. The affected municipalities, Alicante and Elche, will also activate their municipal territorial plans.