Police and other agencies conduct mock drill at the municipal bus-stand
A pair of ‘explosions’ inside a building at the municipal bus-stand, smoke billowing out of the windows, personnel of the Fire and Rescue Services, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and local police rushing to the spot to carry out emergency rescue operations, and the ‘injured’ being taken in stretchers to hospitals…
It was panic for a good 20 minutes or so here on Thursday before the public realised that the ‘blasts’ and the rescue and fire-fighting operations were all part of a mock drill.
Pedestrians and people waiting for buses at the municipal bus-stand were startled when they heard two low-intensity explosions at around 11 a.m., followed by columns of smoke coming out of the windows of a room on the first floor of a building. The people started running helter-skelter when they heard screams from inside the building.
The arrival of NDRF and local police personnel to secure the spot, firefighters spraying water jets to contain the fire, and the sight of four ‘bleeding’ persons being removed from the building and taken to ambulances standing by brought home to them the seriousness of the incident.
Only when District Collector Rathan Kelkar reached the spot and joined officials in explaining to the people that a mock drill was being held did they breathe a sigh of relief.
Vehicular traffic in the locality was disrupted for some time.
The officials said the mock drill was conducted to create public awareness of disaster management and rescue operations during emergency situations.