Staged Liverpool train disaster tests police and fire service’s emergency response




A HUGE training exercise based on a train derailing was staged by Merseyside and British Transport police yesterday.

Around 70 officers faced a scenario of more than a dozen bodies being pulled from a train which derailed on its journey from Rock Ferry to Liverpool.

A drunk driver who abandoned his car on the train line was found to be responsible for the “horror smash”.

Three carriages in housing near Kirkdale station were set up to replicate the terrible conditions that could arise should a train ever crash and derail in a tunnel.

In the hot and cramped shed, the teams of officers were faced with severed limbs and full-body weight mannequins that had been thrown around the carriage.

The exercise, which started in the morning and lasted most of the day, was to test the city’s response in case of a mass emergency.

When such an incident occurs, the fire brigade has authority for getting survivors out and to safety.

Once all of the wounded are away from the scene, the body recovery operation falls to the police.

Supt Graham Yip, of Merseyside police, said: “We have 150 officers on Merseyside who have volunteered to become body recovery experts as part of a national unit that could be called to any job, anywhere in the world if necessary, should such a tragedy occur.

“To reassure the public, this exercise was months in the planning and not a reaction to any recent activity involving counter-terrorism. We wanted to make this as life-like as possible and we have learned a lot.”

THE DAILY POST