Antwerp Jewish community simulates school bombing drill

THE HAGUE (JTA) — Jewish emergency workers in Antwerp held a drill simulating a deadly bombing at a Jewish school.  

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The drill was held on Sunday at a building in the city’s center. Participants included emergency response teams from: Hatzolah, the local Jewish ambulance service; Zaka, an Israel-based victim identification group; and Shmira, the community’s security service. Chaverim, whose members provide non-medical assistance, was in charge of logistics.

Eli Ringer, honorary chairman of the Federation of Jewish Organizations – which represents Flemish Jews – told JTA that security around Jewish schools and other institutions was augmented following the March 19 school shooting in Toulouse, France.

Mohammed Merah, a 23-year-old Islamist radical, murdered a rabbi and three children at that city’s Otzar Hatorah school.

Acording to the Belgian Jewish paper Joods Actueel, the scenario in Antwerp listed six dead, nine criticaly wounded children and dozens of people with less serious injuries. About 35 children from Jesode Hatorah school played those roles, Joods Actueel reported. 

Venus, an organization belonging to the Felmish Cross, also helped organize the drill. Those pretending to be wounded wore makeup and fake blood. Rescue personnel carried them away in stretchers to ambulances parked outside the building.  

Antwerp has approximately 18,000 Jews.

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