VIDEO: Overturned fuel tanker and chemical spill drill puts emergency crews to the test

The overturned tanker exercise in Alconbury today
The overturned tanker exercise in Alconbury today

A emergency response simulation of what would happen if a tanker carrying aviation fuel overturned on a trunk road in Cambridgeshire was carried out this afternoon, Tuesday November 1.

The exercise at RAF Alconbury and saw a mock collision between the fuel tanker and a van carrying hydrochloric acid, which had a passenger trapped inside.

Representatives from all 43 police forces, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, US Airforce, Beds and Suffolk Fire, the Health and Safety Executive, the Department of Transport and industry professionals attended.

The scenario saw the fake A1 closed for three and a half hours while a tanker carrying 39,000 litres of aviation fuel rolled over after being involved in a collision with a van.

The van was carrying 1,000 litres of hydrochloric acid, illegally, and the driver of the van decamped while his passenger was rescued from the van and taken to the local hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the tanker received minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

The exercise also saw the fictional local school being evacuated, a smoking photographer being removed from the scene and the drone utilised to get a bird’s eye view of the accident before decisions were made on how to move the tanker.

Traffic Officer and exercise organiser Stuart Appleton said: “The intention of the exercise was to practise inter agency response to a major incident, in this case a rolled chemical tanker.

“The exercise was a great success and I would like to thank everybody involved including my colleagues from Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, the East of England Ambulance Service, LJ Transportation for the recovery and Turners of Soham for the use of the vehicles in the exercise today.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite said, “I was hugely impressed with the scale of the exercise today and the level of detail to make it as realistic as possible. While a chemical incident such as this is rare, with so many major routes within our county it is important that we are prepared for it when it does happen. I was delighted to see so many representatives from across the country coming to share and learn from the exercise.”

There was also a demonstration of one of Cambridgeshire Police’s drone units.

The overturned tanker exercise in Alconbury today

The overturned tanker exercise in Alconbury today

You can watch a full video of the exercise on the Peterborough Telegraph Facebook page where we streamed the action live.