Full-scale disaster breaking out in France – in the form of a simulated accident around which a major European civil protection exercise is planned. Just as in a real emergency, the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters is being activated so rescue teams will receive satellite images of the disaster zone.
It begins with a train derailment, and then the situation gets worse. Train wagons of fuel begin to burn, the fire spreading to pressurised tanks of liquefied gas until one of them explodes violently, even as a passenger train is stopped nearby. Secondary fires reach wagons of hazardous chemicals giving rise to toxic and corrosive fumes that emanate past nearby houses. Casualties are being poisoned as well as seriously burned…
The EURATECH 2005 exercise is occurring between 10 and 14 April at the town of Portes-lès-Valence in the French department of Drôme. Its name is short for European Technological Accident .
Simonetta Cheli | alfa
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