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A tower has collapsed into a tube station (but don't panic – it's all part of a disaster training exercise)

Isabelle Aron

Spotted some slightly terrifying pictures of a tube disaster on Twitter this morning? Don't panic, it's not real – it's part of Europe's biggest ever disaster training exercise, which is being held in London this week. Exercise Unified Response is a four-day drill, which is bringing together firefighters, police officers and ambulance personnel to test the contingency planning of more than 70 organisations in the event of a disaster.

To make the training as realistic as possible, they have taken over the Littlebrook Power Station near the Dartford river crossing and re-created an entire mock-up of Waterloo tube station – and then crushed the whole damn thing to simulate a high-rise tower block having collapsed onto the station. The exercise has taken over a year to plan and includes 100 firefighters, 15 fire engines and 1,000 actors playing casualties.

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