Balearic emergency services were yesterday involved in a massive training operation at Manacor hospital. The simulated exercise involved the hospital being hit by a fire and having to be evacuated. The alarm was raised at 11.30 and a total of 13 firemen in breathing apparatus and protective clothing were dispatched to the scene. On arrival it was quickly ascertained that a number of patients were trapped in four bedrooms on the first floor. While firemen battled the blaze a crack unit located and evacuated the trapped patients, guiding or carrying them to safety. Two of the victims needed to be treated for the effects of the inhalation of smoke at the scene and just as firemen thought the fire was out, a secondary blaze was reported on the roof. Firemen tackled the blaze from ladders while a team secured a path up the stairs, extinguishing the fire as quickly as possible. Head of Manacor fire brigade, Jose Huertes, described the operation as a success and praised the response of all the people involved in the operation. The training exercise was part of the Balearics' emergency plan which involves the regular staging of simulated operations. The previous operation involved an aircraft catching fire at Palma airport after it collided with a coach carrying passengers on the runway.

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