Crash staged at KCI tests first responders for emergencies

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A mass casualty exercise at KCI Airport Wednesday tested the skills of emergency agencies.

Unexpected events were part of this incident.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires that airports with passenger carriers test their emergency plans every three years.

In this scenario, an airliner landing at KCI collided with a corporate jet that was trying to take off on a taxiway.

About 150 volunteers are passengers on the airliner, and they received lifelike makeup depicting injuries like burns, cuts and bruises.

With so many different agencies having to work together, the test helped everyone better prepare for a tragedy they hope never happens.

"This program has accelerated big time over the past 20 years, since I have been here to what it is today," said Bob Johnson, airport operations manager. "This is really over the top. We have a lot of players here today. Missouri Highway Patrol, KCPD, KCFD, FAA, TSA, you name it."

Many of the participants were observers, monitoring how first-responders handle the crisis. This event took six months of planning to stage and coordinate.

There's always a few unexpected wrinkles in an emergency situation, and planners try to make sure rescue crews don't know everything about what they will encounter.