Zimbabwe safety drill sparks crash alert

Reports this morning of a Boeing 767 crash at Harare airport in Zimbabwe caused mass confusion with news agencies and panic among relatives, until it was revealed that it was a safety drill.

Zimbabwe officials say Boeing 767 arriving from London involved in accident at Harare airport – APless than a minute ago via breakingnews.com

Newswires such as the Associated Press and Twitter accounts like @breakingnews (above) reported the crash and had it confirmed by local officials, before being told that it was part of a drill to test safety procedures. A senior member of the Civil Aviation Authority told Reuters:

“There was a drill. We have to test our preparedness and response capabilities every now and then.” (Source: Reuters)

How it happened on Twitter:

The announcement:

#Breakingnews Zimbabwe civil aviation reports plane “accident” at Harare airport, no deaths but injuries #planecrashless than a minute ago via web

After the safety drill was announced:

Update: Zimbabwe officials now say report of plane accident at Harare airport was only a drill – APless than a minute ago via breakingnews.com

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