Overturned fuel tanker and big chemical spill puts region’s emergency services through their paces

Representatives from 35 police forces, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, the US Airforce, Beds

Representatives from 35 police forces, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, the US Airforce, Beds and Suffolk Fire, the East of England Ambulance Service the Health and Safety Executive and the Department of Transport helped tackle an overturned chemical tanker in the training exercise. - Credit: Archant

A fleet of drones captured this dramatic footage as emergency services from across the region tackled an overturned chemical tanker, queuing traffic and a casualty as part of a full-scale training exercise.

The scenario, run by the Road Policing Unit, saw a fake version of the A1 in Alconbury closed for three-and-a-half hours on Tuesday (1) after a tanker carrying 39,000 litres of aviation fuel rolled over after being hit by a van which had 1,000 litres of illegal hydrochloric acid on board.

The county’s officers were told very little prior to arriving on the scene, and were then tasked with evacuating a fictional school, removing a smoking photographer from the scene and using the help of drones to survey the area.

The van was eventually towed away from the tanker, which was righted using pulleys and airbags.

Representatives from 35 police forces, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, the US Airforce, Beds and Suffolk Fire, the East of England Ambulance Service the Health and Safety Executive and the Department of Transport all attended, alongside Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite.


You may also want to watch:


He said: “I was hugely impressed with the scale of the exercise today and the level of detail to make it as realistic as possible. While a chemical incident such as this is rare, with so many major routes within our county it is important that we are prepared for it when it does happen. I was delighted to see so many representatives from across the country coming to share and learn from the exercise.”

Stuart Appleton, traffic officer and exercise organiser said: “The intention of the exercise was to practise inter agency response to a major incident, in this case a rolled chemical tanker.

Most Read

“The exercise was a great success and I would like to thank everybody involved including my colleagues from Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, the East of England Ambulance Service, LJ Transportation for the recovery and Turners of Soham for the use of the vehicles in the exercise today.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter