Emergency services to hold mock military plane crash

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Emergency services carried out a 'live' training exercise at the RSC in January last year. Photo: Mark Williamson.

A JOINT training exercise between Warwickshire Police at the Royal Air Force (RAF) and other emergency services will take place next week.

It will simulate a military aircraft crash at the force’s headquarters in Leek Wootton on Tuesday and Wednesday, 5th and 6th June.

Smoke will be seen coming from the woodland at the start of the exercise between 9am and 11.30am on the Tuesday, and there will be a large number of vehicles arriving at the site.

Woodcote Lane will be closed from 8am on Tuesday until to 7pm Wednesday, but people have been advised not to enter the woodland around the area from Monday.

Andrew Ware, emergency planning officer for Warwickshire Police, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for our officers and other local emergency services to check our readiness for a major incident of this kind.

“These types of exercises are extremely important. Fortunately, major incidents of the type we will be simulating are extremely rare. Therefore, it is vital that we use training exercises like this to test our preparedness in case such an incident happens.

“To allow the exercise to take place there will be some disruption in the local area, including a road closure; however, we will try to keep this to a minimum.

“We have written to all local residents to inform them of the disruption and I would like to thank them in advance for their support and understanding.”

Wing Commander Alex Stylianides, from the RAF, added: “In the rare event that a military aircraft crashes we need to be sure we can respond promptly and effectively. In such an event we would work with emergency services to respond to the incident.

“We carry out exercises of this type every couple of years. A year’s worth of planning has gone into this exercise to ensure disruption to the local community is kept to a minimum.

“I’d like to thank local people in advance for their patience while we conduct this exercise. I am happy to respond to any queries they have about the exercise or the disruption it will cause.”

Warwickshire Police intends to sell off its former headquarters in Leek Wootton later this year.