Disaster management teams hard at work during a plane crash simulation at Wonderboom International Airport aimed at preparing emergency and forensic services to respond to large-scale situations. Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - First responders and disaster management professionals responded to a simulated aircraft accident at Wonderboom National Airport yesterday, where five passengers “lost their lives” and two others were left “severely injured”.

In the scenario, body parts were scattered at the disaster scene, while the aircraft went up in flames.

Emergency services were then alerted and activated their emergency alarm from the airport. A fire brigade responded to the fire, with the main aim to control the fire and get all the surviving people from the aircraft as fast as possible.

The three-hour disaster management response simulation by multiple forensic units, including law enforcement agencies, was in an effort to prepare them for large-scale emergencies like natural disasters.

It was part of a week-long course hosted by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The training comes on the heels of cyclones Idai and Kenneth, which affected more than 3.8million people across four countries.

More than 60 of the professionals from nine African countries gathered for the simulation of how a typical aircraft crash case would be solved, from the beginning until the very end.

The Disaster Scene and Mortuary Management Course covered international practices for multi-agency disaster preparedness and response, including specific focus on how to manage mass casualties.

The simulation also showed how various units worked together without interfering with each other’s responsibilities.

Forensic specialist from International Committee of the Red Cross, Neil Morris, said: “With natural disasters expected happen with greater frequency and strength, well-co-ordinated regional and continental preparedness and responses by public authorities are essential to saving lives, minimising damage and supporting recovery.”

The exercise was organised along with the provincial Department of Health Forensic Pathology Service, the University of Pretoria’s African School for Humanitarian Forensic Action and the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine.

Pretoria News