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Terror drill at world's second tallest building

Monday, April 30, 2012 - 02:49

April 30 - Japanese first responders carried out a terror drill at the Sky Tree, the world's second tallest building ahead of its opening. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: Japanese police, fire fighters and military officials deployed attack dogs and bomb disposal unit on Monday (April 30) to protect Japan's tallest building from possible terrorist attacks ahead of its opening next month. The Sky Tree, standing 634 metres (2,080 feet) tall, is the world's second tallest structure after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and will open to the public next month. One of the drills was conducted at the observation platform 350-meters (1,148-feet) above the ground, where a mock terrorist caused panic as he sprayed around a can of toxic chemical paralysing a dozen visitors including himself. A joint team of police, fire fighters and Japan Self Defence Force (JSDF) rushed in immediately with protective clothes and gear. After checking the level of contamination in the air, officials carried away all victims and arrested the suspect. Meanwhile, visitors evacuating from the observation tower had to walk down 1,920 steps on the emergency stairs with occasional signs on the wall providing a sense of how much farther they'd have to descend. It took over 40 minutes for the 100 visitors -- most of them local residents who volunteered for the drills -- to complete the escape from the endangered tower. Walking down the Sky Tree was an exhausting task for many participants. "I'm very tired. I think the elderly will have hard time walking down on the steps," an unidentified Japanese man said after he managed to complete the evacuation. "I wish the police can protect the tower from any accidents or terrorism so that people don't have to walk down thousands of steps," another unidentified drill participant said. Operators of the tower said all four elevators will immediately shut down in case of fire or earthquake, forcing all visitors to evacuate by feet, and the elderly or the impaired will be assisted by the staff members. On the ground floor just outside the building's main entrance, police held another drill for a possible bomb threat. A mock terrorist, who was suspected to be carrying a bomb, fired a pistol when he was warned by a patrolling police. A police dog sprung out at and quickly knocked down the terrorist, who was then taken away by the police. The suspicious bag was left on the ground to be examined by the police's bomb disposal unit. Officials said Monday's drills also included the decontamination of visitors in cases of chemical attacks and the preparation of an evacuation shelter at a nearby school. Tokyo Sky Tree is now the world's tallest free-standing broadcast tower ahead of the Canton Tower in China which scales 600 metres (1,968 feet). The tower's the upper observation area, over 450 metres (1,476 feet) above the ground, is now the tallest observation deck in Japan. The tower and surrounding shopping complex took nearly four years and nearly 65 billion yen (800 million USD) to complete and is scheduled to open to the public on May 22.

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Terror drill at world's second tallest building

Monday, April 30, 2012 - 02:49