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Multi-agency exercise tests London’s emergency services


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Last Friday, emergency services in London tested their response to a major incident on the London Underground network. 

The exercise was held on the disused Jubilee Line platforms at Charing Cross station.

The scenario was based on a Tube carriage derailing and striking the tunnel walls as it departed the station. This resulted in passengers being trapped in the tunnel as well as mass passenger casualties. 

Specialist crews from British Transport Police joined colleagues from London Fire Brigade, London Ambulance Service, Metropolitan Police Service, City of London Police, Transport for London and the British Red Cross. 

Inspector Stuart Downs from British Transport Police, said: “This was an immersive exercise, testing of London’s emergency services to an incident on the London Underground network. With more than 100 volunteers acting as passengers and injured passengers, it was a complex and challenging environment they faced.” 

As part of the exercise, crews had to evacuate injured passengers from the train down the adjacent tunnel. Significant effort was made to ensure the safety of all passengers, but to also ensure those injured received prompt treatment. 

Inspector Downs added: “Amongst the crews which attended the exercise was our team of highly trained Network Incident Response Team and Emergency Response Unit officers. This partnership sees a bespoke team of officers trained with advanced medic capabilities, working along London Underground’s operational managers. Every day they’re responding to incidents on the network and this exercise is a great way to prepare them for any potentially major incident. 

“Fortunately, incidents such as this are extremely rare. However, by testing our capabilities it ensures that we are prepared for every eventuality. I would like to thank Transport for London for allowing us to use their station and train for this exercise. Hopefully everyone who took part learned some new skills and benefited taking part in the day.”
Richard Jones, London Underground’s Head of Network Delivery, said: “The safety of our customers and staff is our top priority. We work closely with the police, emergency services and the government to make sure our trains and stations, and the processes we use, are safe and secure.”


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