Shopping mall drama helps police training

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BODIES were pulled from a Sheffield shopping mall after a huge gas explosion.

But it wasn’t real - police staged the scenario to practise for a major incident.

Officers spent the whole night at Crystal Peaks shopping centre in Sheffield dealing with around 30 ‘casualties’ and pulling ‘bodies’ from the building as part of the force’s annual disaster victim identification training exercise.

The training exercise began at 8.30pm on Wednesday when mannequins and fake body parts were placed around the shopping centre.

The aim was to recover the bodies and body parts and then begin the grim process of identifying the remains.

Chf Insp Iain Chorlton, operational lead for disaster victim identification, said the aim was to practise for a major incident and give the 90 officers involved vital training.

Forensic tents and air shelters were set up outside the centre and a police search dog which can sniff out human remains was also used.

Drama students were made up by professional make-up artists to mimic the maimed and injured.

Firefighters and ambulance staff watched the exercise.