AUBURN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- After the Lac-Megantic train derailment, many Mainers started to ask, "What if it happened here?" In Auburn, safety officials say they started preparing for a similar scenario well before the Quebec disaster.
Two years ago, Auburn Safety Coordinator Ray Lussier began organizing a drill near the Auburn-Lewiston Airport and Maine Intermodal Transportation Terminal beside the Dead River Company.
On Wednessday, crews carried out the exercise, simulating a plane crash near the railway.
It involved nearly 100 people from local, state, and federal agencies, including Auburn Police and Fire Departments, Pan Am Railways, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and the Federal Aviation Administration, with funding from the Department of Homeland Security.
The goal, according to Lussier, was to improve communication and coordination with agencies local departments don't regularly work with.
Lussier said it simulated "the real process of working with federal agencies and state agencies."
"We've never experienced it, And working with the railroad is a whole other world we don't deal with everyday," said Lussier.
It is the first full-scale operation of its kind in the Lewiston/Auburn area.
The drill also incorporated the response from the nearby Dead River Company and treatment for "victims" at St. Mary's Hospital and Central Maine Medical Center.