HC Deb 17 September 2003 vol 410 cc758-9W
Miss McIntosh

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the purpose was of the counter-terrorism exercise held on 7 September. [R] [129631]

Mr. McNulty

The exercise held at Bank tube station on Sunday 7 September was designed to test the co-ordinated response of the emergency services to a chemical release on a train on the London Underground. The exercise involved rescue and decontamination both at the scene and at a hospital. It also tested the use of new equipment and procedures for the emergency services.

Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost was of holding the simulated terrorist attack at the Bank underground station and its surrounds on 7 September; what lessons were learned from the exercise; and whether the exercise dealt with the requirements of decontamination of the site of the simulated dirty radioactive bomb. [130292]

Mr. McNulty

As with other exercises designed to test the preparedness of the emergency services, the costs are being borne by the participating organisations, whose budgets naturally include general funding for training and exercising.

Our early view is that the elements we planned to test in this exercise worked well. A full assessment is currently being carried out. There will of course be lessons to learn for all those involved.

The exercise was based on a simulated release of a chemical agent on a train stuck in the London underground and was designed to test new equipment and procedures for rescuing and decontaminating people trapped on the train. The exercise was not designed to test site decontamination or the response to a dirty radioactive bomb.