Mock chemical attack hits Tacoma

A notional bomb containing a life-threatening chemical was detonated in Tacoma this morning.The Tacoma Fire Department will led a four-hour, full-scale terrorism training exercise to help emergency responders learn more about chemical weapon attack response and test the systems in place to handle such situations.

The chemical weapon training took place on the former Kaiser Aluminum Plant property, now owned by the Port of Tacoma, at 3400 Taylor Way. The exercise began with a literal bang at 10 a.m. and continued through 2 p.m. Many of the agencies -police, fire, hospitals, transit, health departments, etc. – that would respond in a real chemical weapon attack participated in the training.

Tacoma has participated in several terrorism preparation activities since receiving federal money for weapons of mass destruction preparation. This morning’s full-scale exercise is the final piece of training the city is scheduled to receive as part of the federal funding, which comes from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.