Ben Gurion drill6- Reuters- Nov. 1, 2010
Police officers lie on the ground as they play the role of victims during a crash drill at Ben Gurion airport Nov. 1, 2010. Photo by Reuters
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Staff at Ben-Gurion International Airport carried out one of their largest ever emergency exercises on Monday to test their ability to cope with a major air disaster.

The exercise, which simulated the crash of a packed passenger airliner, was not expected to disrupt scheduled flights.

Airport staff and emergency crews simulated a crash by a 747-400-type aircraft after a failed emergency landing - a disaster that could leave around 200 people dead - practicing rescues and setting up triage centers for the injured and their families.

A large-scale simulation takes place each year at the airport, but this year's drill was more complicated as two of the airports three runways are currently closed for renovation work.

Unlike last year, the airport did not torch a real plane, instead using burning tires and scrap to produce the necessary smoke and flames. In the 2009 drill, the skeleton of a 747 used for training was completely destroyed by fire. While airport authorities have since purchased a replacement, they hope to keep it around for several years.