On Thursday at 11AM approximately 150 firefighters, police, military, government and extras participated in disaster simulation exercise depicting a plane coming from the Florennes military base and crashing in Hemptinne. On board the plane were twenty passengers and four crew members, said Peter Helson, Mayor of Florennes. “This annual exercise is to refine the procedures of the emergency plan. We are still trying to stay on the positive side and prevent disasters like this. This way we will be better prepared in the event of a disaster. We also had a debriefing session in order to define the positive and negative aspects as well as what needs to be improved, “he added.
This simulation was for police, fire, paramedics, military as well as municipal staff that need to set up an emergency unit. “In the event of an accident in a military area, the disaster will be managed by the military. Otherwise, it will be up to the city to respond,” said Peter Helson.
In this exercise, the small jet, carrying people who had just come from visiting the base, experienced a technical problem during takeoff and crashed into a nearby village. Deaths and serious injuries were gradually reported during the exercise. “The military and civilian system was developed to meet the needs of the situation. We try to make the exercise as realistic as possible,” said the mayor.
The Florennes military base, with 1,300 military and civilian occupants, sees twenty military aircraft takeoffs every week.