Exciting drama at airport

Fire and Rescue Department personnel moving ‘casualties’ to safety during the drill at the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas.

A FLIGHT from Kuala Lumpur ‘crashed’ into the Penang Interna-tional Airport terminal, leading to the collapse of the aerobridge which ‘trapped’ two ground crew members.

About 300 airport personnel immediately moved into action when Helang Airways ATR72-600 ‘rammed’ into the aerobridge due to the flight’s faulty hydraulic system during the airport’s biannual drill yesterday.

With 76 people including four flight crew members on board the aircraft, the ‘crash alarm’ was activated and the command post set up, marking the commencement of the rescue operation.

The airport medical team, firemen and other emergency units arrived to assist the airport personnel evacuate the passengers to the ‘assembly point’.

‘Victims’ caught in the collapsed rubble and under the aeroplane were rescued.

In 30 minutes, all the passengers and crew as well as the two aerobridge crew members were moved to safety.

The ‘casualties’ were either tended to at the site or ‘transported’ to a hospital.

Penang International Airport senior manager Mohd Ariff Jaafar said the plane safely landed at 10.50am in the scenario and was taxiing from the runway to a terminal when the ‘accident’ occurred.

“The drill is conducted to familiarise personnel with such an emergency.

Some 600 people including the emergency and rescue personnel were involved in the exercise.

“It is important to train the airport personnel and prepare them to cope with the situation efficiently and effectively,” he said at the airport.

The drill ended within 45 minutes and post-exercise cleaning procedures were conducted.

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