Rand Airport, a category six airport, conducted its first intense emergency drill involving different emergency services organisations from private and public sector since obtaining its license in this category.
An emergency call was called out at 11h40 in the morning for smoke coming out of a DC6 aircraft at the airport and the airport’s firefighters arrived first on scene to rescue 50 passengers on board. The medical team from Netcare 911 arrived 15 minutes later at the scene to find firefighters rescuing passengers who had sustained injuries. These patients were placed at a safety area where the medical team could attend to them.
21 patients were transported to various hospitals in the east rand region. The scene was closed off and South African Police (SAP) took over the approach scene as there were fatalities and this became a ‘crime scene’. Police began its investigation and took statements from various personnel involved in the rescue and they in turn phoned the pathologists on scene.
While all this was taking place, all personnel were under scrutiny from three judges, Pieter Rudolph, Ekurhuleni’s district manager, managing director of Rand Airport Anton Kruger the CAA representative.