London to run terror attack rehearsal

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A terrorist attack will be simulated in London on Sunday to find out how emergency services would cope with a chemical strike on the Tube.

Hundreds of police, firefighters and ambulance staff will be put through their paces at Bank Underground station and a wide section of the Square Mile will be sealed off.

The exercise, codenamed Osiris 2, will simulate a poison gas attack on a train brought to a halt in a tunnel, with 60 police cadets posing as badly injured and dying commuters. New equipment, including decontamination units and chemical protection suits, will be used for the first time.

Nick Raynsford, the minister for London, said the exercise was part of a programme of eight drillsover the past two years in response to the 11 September attacks. He said: "We have to be prepared for all new threats that emerge. As we saw in the last week on the Tube with the power failure in some parts of the city, there are always new lessons to be learnt." The general public will not be involved, although University College Hospital will treat "the wounded".

The Government said the exercise was not in response to any specific threat.

London Underground said lines other than the Waterloo & City running through Bank would run as normal but would not stop at Bank.