Emergency services from Norfolk and Essex take part in plane crash training scenario at Norwich Airport

Fire fighters assess the situation inside the aircraft during the Norfolk Fire Service aeroplane cra

Fire fighters assess the situation inside the aircraft during the Norfolk Fire Service aeroplane crash training exercise at Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Emergency services took part in a large-scale training exercise based around a simulated plane crash at Norwich Airport.

Fire fighters from the fire service and the airport team together during the Norfolk Fire Service ae

Fire fighters from the fire service and the airport team together during the Norfolk Fire Service aeroplane crash training exercise at Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

More than 40 personnel were tasked with responding to a passenger plane that had been forced to land without an undercarriage on Monday morning.

Those taking part were told that the impact had resulted in a number of serious casualties inside the aircraft.

Firefighters from Sprowston and Carrow were joined by Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams from Norfolk and Essex, as well as the ambulance services' Hazardous Area Response Team (HART).

Starting at 9.30am, the airport's fire crews were first on the scene and had to spray the area with foam following reports that the plane had suffered a fuel leak.

Fire fighters from the fire service and the airport team together during the Norfolk Fire Service ae

Fire fighters from the fire service and the airport team together during the Norfolk Fire Service aeroplane crash training exercise at Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Minutes later, the city's firefighters arrived to assess the scene, before USAR crews began looking at ways to cut into the plane's fuselage.

Station manager Jonathan Wilby said: 'We gained access to the fuselage quite quickly and our primary concern was to then get medical help to those inside.

Most Read

'The HART team went in to assess and triage them, and we [the fire service] assisted in getting them out of the aircraft.'

In order to simulate the conditions of such an accident, real amputees were hired as actors for the scenario.

Fire fighters assess the situation inside the aircraft during the Norfolk Fire Service aeroplane cra

Fire fighters assess the situation inside the aircraft during the Norfolk Fire Service aeroplane crash training exercise at Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Along with children and adults, Mr Wilby said crews also had to deal with an overweight casualty.

Halfway through the exercise, it is understood that Norfolk's USAR crew almost had to deal with a real-life plane crash at Hunstanton, near King's Lynn.

It followed reports that an aircraft had crashed into part of a sea wall, but the crew was later stood down.

Mr Wilby said the training exercise, which was one of the largest in recent years at the airport, involved an aircraft that was due to be scrapped.

Fire fighters assess the situation inside the aircraft during the Norfolk Fire Service aeroplane cra

Fire fighters assess the situation inside the aircraft during the Norfolk Fire Service aeroplane crash training exercise at Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

He said: 'It went well and we were really testing our partnership working. Urban Search and Rescue did the majority of the work and there were some minor learning points to consider in the future.

'We have to train for every eventuality and should something like that ever happen, we need to be well prepared.'

He said local crews train alongside airport firefighters around four times a year.

A firefighter looks through the window of the aircraft during the Norfolk Fire Service aeroplane cra

A firefighter looks through the window of the aircraft during the Norfolk Fire Service aeroplane crash training exercise, to assess the situation inside. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Ambulance crews prepare during the Norfolk Fire Service aeroplane crash training exercise at Norwich

Ambulance crews prepare during the Norfolk Fire Service aeroplane crash training exercise at Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

The Norwich Airport fire fighters and appliance during the Norfolk Fire Service aeroplane crash trai

The Norwich Airport fire fighters and appliance during the Norfolk Fire Service aeroplane crash training exercise at Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter