Delusional man 'takes over' airport

UNIFORMED police breeze through doorways and hurry down corridors with urgent looks on their faces.

Airline crews huddle in control rooms, frantically taking calls and directing the actions of their staff.

Outside, a crowd of SES volunteers and airport security stand by large red barricades, keeping people away from the affected area.

Two ambulances sit idling nearby, with paramedics ready and waiting in case anyone gets hurt.

This is the scenario at Hervey Bay Airport after a violent and delusional man has hijacked a plane on the tarmac.

Five crew members and 11 passengers have been taken hostage and emergency crews are charged with keeping the situation at bay.

Fortunately, this is only a test run.

The hijacker and passengers are actors, the plane really a bus.

This scenario was played out in front of real passengers yesterday afternoon, as the airport's emergency response plan was put under the microscope.

Real police, SES and ambulance crews had to demonstrate what they would do if a hostage situation arose at the airport.

Sergeant Kev Thompson of Hervey Bay police said those involved in the scenario were trying to make it seem as real as possible.

A negotiator was even sent on to the plane to subdue the hijacker, who had injured two of the airline staff.

The mock hijacking began about 1pm and ended about 2.30pm, when the offender was arrested and taken away by police.

Sgt Thompson said all the major players would undergo a debriefing and an evaluation of their performances.

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