U.S. Troops Help Mexican Army Deal with Mock Train Derailment, Chemical Fire

U.S. and Mexican troops resumed joint disaster-response training Thursday by tending to a mock train derailment and chemical spill in Downtown Juarez.

Soldiers could be seen rendering aid to individuals lying on the ground. Thick smoke rose next to parked tank cars on a rail line that cuts through the city and leads to a railroad bridge into El Paso, Texas.

The scenario contemplated a chemical fire whose fumes overcame 30 passersby, said Mexican Army Maj. Jose Luis Cora Torres. First responders and Juarez Red Cross paramedics were quickly overwhelmed by the number of victims and the threat of fumes making sick or killing more people, as per the simulation.

“We proceeded to take over. We determined the fire to be intense, so we called for air support,” Cora said.

He explained that population centers on either side of the U.S.-Mexico border must utilize all available resources when faced with potential mass-casualty events. In this scenario, American troops and aircraft came across the border and helped. Should the emergency take place on the U.S. side of the border wall, Mexican troops would have availed themselves to assist.

The exercise was part of Fuerzas Amigas 2024 – weeklong training in preparation for catastrophic events that threaten to overwhelm civil authorities on communities at either side of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mexican soldiers last year took part in similar training in Camp Pendleton, California. American troops crossed the border in 2022 for exercises in Reynosa, Mexico. This year marks the first time that Fuerzas Amigas take place outside a military base, in plain view of civilians and in locales where an actual mass-casualty event might occur.

In Juarez, earlier exercises involved the collapse of a stadium after an earthquake and medical evacuations using transport helicopters.

Fuerzas Amigas 2024 concludes on Friday with a review of the training and suggestions for future response to real disasters.

– BorderReport.com

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