Plane crash drill at Sea-Tac mirrors San Francisco crash

by: John Knicely Updated:

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SEATAC, Wash. —

Quick Facts:

  • 175 emergency vehicles, 300 people playing victims
  • Drill required every 3 years by FAA
  • Plane fuselage will be used in simulation

 

At Sea-Tac Airport Thursday, emergency responders prepared for the worst.  They used lessons learned from the Asiana crash in San Francisco last year.

 The division chief from the San Francisco airport was on hand observing and offering insight from the crash last summer that killed two people.

Three-hundred volunteers acted as plane crash victims to give emergency responders a realistic scenario of a crash similar to the San Francisco crash last summer.  Each victim had a different injury and story as they littered the runway.

"Normally, the FAA only requires to rescue 100," said Perry Cooper, SeaTac Airport spokesman.  "We are trying to push that number up to 300 to show the reality of a large jet accident."

 And for the first time regional helicopters from the Coast Guard, Army and Navy joined.

 From San Francisco, emergency crews learned it would be good to take some patients out of the region.

 "We will actually move our moderately injured to outlying hospitals," said Randy Krause, Port of Seattle Fire Chief. "We can take care of the most critical folks in King County."

 The responders are actually instructed to show restraint in such a large scale incident so they don't get worn out.  The first firefighters on the scene walked to the victims and back and forth to the command post.

 "One of the things we learned from San Francisco is that it's not just our agency doing the bulk of the work," said Krause. "But that it's a collective approach."

 In the San Francisco crash, one girl was run over by an emergency vehicle.

 The Sea-Tac trucks have two operators each so one can be a spotter.

 Chief Krause told KIRO 7 he thought his team did very well in the drill.

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