Amsterdam stadium 'bombed' in terror drill

6th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

6 April 2005, AMSTERDAM — Two 'bombs' exploded at the Amsterdam Arena at about 12.30pm on Wednesday in a large-scale training operation to test the ability of the emergency services to deal with a real terror attack.

6 April 2005

AMSTERDAM — Two 'bombs' exploded at the Amsterdam Arena at about 12.30pm on Wednesday in a large-scale training operation to test the ability of the emergency services to deal with a real terror attack.

It is estimated that between 2,000 and 4,000 people — mostly school and college students — turned up for the training exercise that was based around a concert by rapper Ali B. The public had not been told what to expect.

About 30 minutes into the performance a fake bomb exploded near the stage and some of the audience panicked.

An official tried to calm the crowd from a podium where rapper Ali B. had just performed. He urged everyone to leave the stadium.

The second fake blast went off in the car park, sparking a fire, news service 'nu.nl' reported.

The public did not show any intention of leaving the area quickly. An evacuation signal was then triggered, with a siren and a message broadcast in four languages saying: "Attention, attention, you must leave the stadium".

Mass panic erupted as people climbed onto the podium and tried to leave the Arena via other exits. 

Smoke billowed everywhere and people picked to play victims were lying in the grandstand. People were pulling at each other, others fell faint and only a few people lent tried to help then, reporters covering the training operation said.

Outside the station, fire trucks and motorbike police officers gathered, while ambulances and units of the specialist riot police (ME) also arrived on the scene. A trauma helicopter was seen circling above the stadium as people, designated as wounded, stumbled about. Ambulances then ferried the 'wounded' away.

The fire brigade made a hole in the car park where one of the bombs went off and firefighters with gas masks used a ladder to climb inside and rescue 'wounded people'.

Several burning cars were in the car park and bodies were seen draped in sheets near the hole. Little by little people left  the Arena and police arrested several people who tried to re-enter the stadium.

A small section of the Arena was sealed off for the training operation. Emergency service chiefs were seen closely observing how the operation proceeded from VIP lounges.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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