Kathmandu, January 13:

The Home Ministry and members for the earthquake disaster management institutions today held an emergency simulation rescue programme at Tilganga in Pashupatinath area.

In a 90-minute programme, volunteers, members of the emergency squad of Nepal Police, Red Cross Society and others acted as if there was an earthquake in the area and rescued as many as three dozen victims and sent them to hospital for “further treatment”.

“In the experiment, we proved we have trained manpower for calamities,” said Amod Mani Dixit, chairman of the Nepal Society for Earthquake Technologies (NSET).

Umesh Dhakal, disaster management director of Nepal Red said that that a building collapsed and five victims were trapped in it. “Our trained volunteers broke in and took the victims out.”

Meanwhile, as part of the same programme, security bodies coordinated by the Home Ministry conducted a mock drill as part of an exercise to assess the general level of preparedness in the matter of rescuing victims of accidents including earthquakes in the Valley. “We conducted it in more than 10 places in the Valley to assess preparedness and competency of security bodies to deal with incidents of disasters,” Bal Govinda Bista, joint secretary to the Natural Disaster Management Section of the Ministry, said. The home ministry staged mock drills at Shankhamul, Shobha Bhagawati, Khasibazaar, Security men were not told that it was a drill. All four security wings — Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, Royal Nepalese Army , and the National Investigation Department, were busy all afternoon. The Fire Brigade also was engaged.

Dinesh Acharya, inspector at the Baneshwor Ward Police Office, said he was shocked when he received a message that a bomb had been planted at Shankhamul. “I eased up when I learned it was a drill,” Acharya added.