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Detroit Disaster Drill Uses Tunnel

April 15, 2002

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DETROIT (AP) _ Emergency workers closed the Detroit-Windsor tunnel for two hours Sunday to simulate a disaster in which a car and a Canadian passenger bus collide inside the mile-long tunnel.

Authorities on both sides of the border decided to conduct the drill after Sept. 11 to test their ability to handle emergencies, said Neal Belitsky, a spokesman for the Detroit and Canada Tunnel Corporation.

Kwaku Atara, spokesman for the Detroit Fire Department, said ``a lot of the things we thought could go wrong did go wrong.″

The biggest problem was the different agencies using their own frequencies to communicate. There is only one frequency in the tunnel, so firefighters could talk to each other but other emergency workers could not hear them, Atara said.

Authorities are now considering adding a second frequency.

The tunnel, which connects Detroit with Windsor, Ontario, was closed to vehicles from 7:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Drivers used the nearby Ambassador Bridge to cross the border.


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