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Officer Commanding for Maun policing area, Peter Gochela, has allayed fears over a plane crash that caused panic at Maun International Airport yesterday saying it was a staged simulation exercise.

Scores of curious and terrified members of the public responded to a loud crash that was followed by blaring sirens and flashing lights, but were barred by security personnel from accessing the Maun International Airport.

“I saw some smoke earlier and I thought they were just burning tyres. I later realised that the situation was more serious when I saw people rushing to the scene and I decided to follow them,” said a Maun resident, Goleba Mambo, who also mistook the exercise for a serious accident.

Scenes of blood- which turned out to be fake, and dead occupants- that turned out to be dummies, formed part of the staged mock exercise comprising of aviation personnel, firefighters, emergency services, paramedics and the police, all coordinating and practicing how to respond to an incident at the airport.

The simulation exercise that temporarily brought business to a standstill is said to have been created and organised by Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) to check public response and alertness.

“It was an exercise and it had to look real. That is why all stakeholders had to take part,” Gochela explained.

 

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