Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Toxic attack response tested in Southampton

An exercise to test how emergency services would deal with a toxic attack is taking place in Southampton.

Police, fire and rescue and ambulance services are responding to an imaginary scenario involving a lone extremist underneath the Itchen Bridge.

He is trying to release a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear agent into a heavily populated area.

Organisers said the activity around the Itchen Bridge posed "absolutely no danger" to the public.

Police HQ response

Officers from Hampshire Constabulary, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and South Central Ambulance are all taking part in the exercise, which goes on until late afternoon.

Ch Insp Jon Malley, who is part of the exercise team, said they were testing the Southampton "model response plan at a tactical command level" at the police support headquarters at Netley.

Also involved are "live players on the ground" responding to the incident at Town Depot, on Albert Road in the city.

Mr Malley said: "As a result, it is likely that people coming into Southampton from the Itchen Bridge and Woolston side will see a lot of activity beneath the bridge involving all three emergency services - please do not be alarmed.

"There is absolutely no danger to the public, we are just practising and developing our response techniques."

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