WATCH: Akron-Canton Airport Simulates Mid-Air Collision
The airport simulated a mid-air collision between a jet and cargo plane Wednesday morning as part of a full-scale disaster drill
Officials at the Akron-Canton Airport and emergency responders from several Stark and Summit County agencies got some practice in handling a worst-case scenario airplane crash Wednesday morning.
They put on a simulation as part of a full-scale disaster drill, and the scenario was this: A passenger plane carrying more than 100 people, collided with a cargo plane with two people on board as it was en route to Las Vegas.
Airport and fire officials first launched into a press conference after the fictitious accident that day. Media arrived at the airport to gather information from Akron-Canton Airport President and CEO Rick McQueen, a representative from Panther Air (the fake airline involved in the crash), North Canton Fire Chief John Bacon and Jackson Township Fire Chief Tracy Hogue, whose crews responded to the various scenes.
The collision caused emergency responders to rush to five different Stark County locations for related fires and hazardous material cleanup. Those included scenes at North Canton Memorial Stadium and Stark State College.
The Federal Aviation Administration mandates many airports practice these types of drills every three years, said Kristie Van Auken, the airport's senior vice president and chief marketing and communications officer.
Bacon said the drill provided valuable experience to North Canton firefighters.
"In case this does happen, you have to be ready," Bacon said. "Firefighting for me, for the city of North Canton and Jackson Township, it's structure fires. That's our bread and butter. We do it all the time. We're used to it. When we do something like this, it gives the guys a sense that if it does ever happen, we'll be prepared for it."