More than 100 police officers, firemen, doctors and nurses were involved in a spectacular and realistic mock exercise designed to test reactions to a possible terrorist attack. It took place yesterday afternoon at the cafeteria in a hotel on Palma's busy Paseo Marítimo. It was part of the Balearic University's course in training specialists in emergencies and medical care during catastrophes and the scenario was a suicide bomb in the cafeteria which left nearly 100 people injured and two dead. The operation involved the 112 emergency service, the Local and National Police, firemen and ambulances as well as people who had been taking the university course. The Palma city council, traffic control headquarters, the government representative's office, various local government departments and the hotel itself were also actively involved. The bomb went off at 5.30pm, filling the cafeteria with smoke. The evacuation of the injured started immediately, and was handled by those taking the university course, while the hotel staff evacuated guests following the establishment's emergency plan. The evacuation took just eight minutes and according to Antoni Juan, who directed the operation, this made the first part of the exercise a complete success. The first ambulances arrived five minutes after the explosion, followed by the fire brigade and police. Juan said that this part of the operation was less fluid than it would be in a real case, but he praised the way in which facilities were set up and the injured parties classified according to their wounds, giving priority to the evacuation of the most seriously injured. The scenario called for two deaths, three mortally wounded, 30 critically hurt, 40 seriously and 25 slightly injured, all interpreted by family and friends of the students. Juan thanked all those taking part and apologised for any inconvenience, but stressed that such exercises were necessary to test responses to possible real life scenarios.
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