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REVIEW PLANNED



Published: Sun, September 23, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



REVIEW PLANNED

Emergency response

A review will be conducted later this week with various Trumbull County departments and agencies to determine if the county's emergency operations plan was followed Sept. 11 when six commercial flights were forced to land at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport. Concerns include:

Officials from police and fire departments that responded say they did not know who was in charge at the airport. Eight law enforcement departments and three fire departments from Trumbull County responded.

Aircraft that officials believed could have held bombs were parked adjacent to the terminal. Passengers were kept in the terminal, where they could have been injured had a bomb gone off.

Even after the terminal was evacuated, airport officials continued working from a command center within the building.

Passengers on a Continental flight were told they could not go to their hotel because they were to be questioned by FBI agents. They were never questioned.

An Air Force colonel who was a flight passenger was detained because he offered to help. He was released after an officer from the Youngstown Air Reserve Station confirmed his identity.

Buses brought to carry stranded passengers to hotels were parked along the airport driveway, potentially limiting access by firetrucks.

Trumbull County Sheriff's Department, which has jurisdiction over the airport, had to call the airport to ask if airport officials wanted deputies dispatched. According to the county's emergency management plan, the department's deputies should have been one of the first law enforcement agencies called.

Mahoning County deputies were at the airport first, even though they have no jurisdiction there.

Source: Trumbull County sheriff, 911 and other officials




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