Special Correspondent

TIRUCHI: For a casual visitor, the situation may have seemed real when emergency workers of the Tiruchi Airport went on a tizzy on Wednesday evening to rescue passengers from an aircraft that caught fire while landing. Responding to an alert sounded by the Air Traffic Control, Fire Service and other emergency agencies rushed to the tarmac to carry out the tasks cut-out for them.

While the fire-fighters focussed on dousing the fire on the imaginary aircraft, emergency workers rushed to help passengers out, ascertain the condition of the injured, extend first-aid and arrange for ambulances for their transport to hospital. After about 25 minutes of hectic activity, the ‘operation’ concluded much to the satisfaction of the airport officials. Realisation dawned among the visitors that the accident was a simulation, a mock emergency drill, to test the emergency preparedness of the airport staff. The drill, organised as part of Aviation Safety Week, gave an opportunity to the airport staff to assess their abilities.