NDRRMC organises off-airport aircraft crash simulation exercise at Belle Vue

An off-airport aircraft crash simulation exercise, organised by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre (NDRRMC), and which aimed at testing the response capacity of the different stakeholders, was held, yesterday, in Belle Vue.

The exercise was staged in the area of La Louisa in sugarcane fields belonging to Terra Ltd which is located within the flight corridor of planes proceeding to the SSR International airport. The scenario involved the crash before landing of a medium size aircraft type ATR 72 twin engine belonging to the national airline, with 76 persons on board on a return trip from a neighbouring island. There were 10 fatalities and the remaining 66 survivors sustained different levels of injury.

The purpose of the exercise was to enable all stakeholders to better understand their roles, responsibilities and actions for saving and minimising loss of human lives during aircraft incidents. Gaps and scope for improvement were also identified for subsequent review and improvement of the existing plan.

The exercise

Hundreds of officers from different units of the Police, including the Special Mobile Force, the Helicopter Squadron, as well as the officers of the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service and the medical staff of the SSRN Hospital, were tested through this exercise.

Immediately after the crash, the information was relayed to the Police Information Operation Room which in turn relayed to the NDRRMC. The National Emergency Operations Command (NEOC) was thus immediately activated and its air contingency plan implemented. The accident resulted in 10 casualties and, according to the protocol, the Department of Civil Aviation and the officers of the Scene of Crime Officers were dispatched to the scene. The exercise was conducted under the supervision of Incident Commander, Northern Division ACP Kally, in collaboration with the NDRRMC staff.

Based on the Civil Aviation Security Contingency Plan and the Airports of Mauritius Co Ltd Aerodrome Emergency Plan, the NDRRMC has to coordinate the response at national level through the NEOC for aircraft crash occurring outside the jurisdiction of the licensed Airport Operators of the Republic of Mauritius.

This is the third aerial simulation exercise organised by the NDRRMC after those held in 2013 at Albion and 2016 at Rose Belle.

Source: Republic of Mauritius