Not a Movie, Not a Plane Crash - but a Disaster Drill

Ben-Gurion International Airport is to hold a disaster drill tomorrow morning testing readiness to handle the crash of a wide-bodied jet on the runway.

Traffic snarls are expected around the airport between 9 A.M. and noon because emergency vehicles will be using the roads.

Ben-Gurion chief Ze'ev Sarig said a large contingent of firefighters, ambulances, police and Israel Defense Force soldiers will be taking part in the exercise.

The Israel Airports Authority (IAA) director general, Kobi Mor, said the major drill was required by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The last such drill took place in 2004.

The IAA's acting head of ground operations, Rami Nir, said a plane purchased from El Al for exercises will be set ablaze and firefighters will have to extinguish it within two minutes.

IDF soldiers will pretend to be injured passengers; mannequins will be used to simulate casualties.

The readiness of an information center for uninjured passengers, to be set up in the old terminal (Terminal 1) will also be tested, along with a center for passengers' families at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds.

An exercise was held yesterday at Terminal 1 to test emergency procedures for countering a variety of scenarios involving terrorist attacks.