Massport apologizes for holding drill at Logan - New York News

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Massport apologizes for holding drill at Logan on 9/11 anniversary

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BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Massport released an apology Wednesday after conducting drills that included smoke and fire at Logan International Airport.

A spokesperson for Massport told FOX 25 it performs 80 to 90 drills each year and that they need to be done during certain weather conditions. They say Wednesday's drill had been previously scheduled. Shortly after, they released a statement saying the drill should not have taken place on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

"Massport apologizes for conducting the fire training exercise and understands that it may have offended many of those touched by the events of Sept. 11," read a statement from the organization. "Safety and security is our top priority and constant vigilance and readiness is critical, but the exercise should not have taken place on the anniversary of 9/11."

The statement went on to say that the airport community observes a moment of silence, holds a service in the chapel, and lays a wreathe at the 9/11 memorial on the anniversary.

FOX 25 asked Gov. Deval Patrick about the drills. He said he was not aware they were taking place and called holding them on the anniversary of the attacks "dumb."

"I just heard about that and I'm just I mean I didn't know it was going to happen and it's just dumb I mean the timing could not be worse. I know and have a tremendous amount of confidence in the leadership at Massport and I have to believe that they just didn't catch this and to people who experienced 9/11, many of whom work at Massport, I just feel so sorry," said Gov. Patrick.

FOX 25 asked the governor if he thought he should have been notified ahead of time. He said no, but added that Massport knows it made a "mistake" and that their leadership is "mortified."

On Sept. 11, 2001, two planes used in the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people took off from Logan International Airport.

Christie Coombs, the widow of Jeff Coombs who was aboard American Airlines Flight 11 which crashed into the World Trade Center, said the Massport drills "made no sense whatsoever."

"They definitely need to be more sensitive and think about what they may do next time. There are 364 other days to run this kind of drill and to do it on 9/11 makes no sense at all," she said.

When asked if she thought the drills were a sign people were forgetting the tragedy, Christine Coombs said yes, and added "but you would think that the people at Massport would be at the top of the list of people that don't forget because they held a ceremony this morning."

SKYFOX was over the scene Wednesday morning as Massport and Boston fire crews conducted the drill. Heavy smoke and fire could be seen coming from the area.

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