Nuke drill mistaken for attack

LONDON: Panicked residents of a southern England village barricaded themselves inside their homes and prepared for disaster after mistaking a training exercise for a nuclear accident.

Emergency services were inundated with 999 calls - the British equivalent of 911 - as inhabitants of Portland, in the southern England county of Dorset, worried they were under attack, or that a nuclear submarine in a nearby port had malfunctioned. Dorset County Council said today the incident happened on Wednesday, as local officials rehearsed their emergency plan - which included delivering emergency leaflets to local homes.

The local authority insists it warned local people in advance about the drill.