According to the "victims" of this exercise, they would have died before being decontaminated. It was alleged that the coffee and cream cakes
arrived before the emergency services
'Victims' unnerved by mock gas alert
By Peter Wilson
BBC Midlands Today, at Exercise Horizon
Volunteers acted as casualties of a mock gas attack
"We felt we would have died while we waited for the emergency services" is one family's experience of the UK's biggest mock terror exercise.
Standing in a car park for two hours with 400 other angry and confused nerve gas "victims" has left many unnerved at the prospect of a real terror
Fed up with waiting, some have rushed the front doors of the NEC to try to find emergency crews themselves.
Like others, the Groce family say they felt abandoned by emergency crews.
Just after 0930 BST on Sunday several "suicide terrorists" played out a scenario of spraying nerve gas into a crowded hall 19 at Europe's busiest
exhibition centre, near Birmingham.
The emergency services arrived minutes later, but until they were sure what they were up against no crews were deployed.
As one photographer commented, the coffee and cream cakes arrived before the emergency services.
Meanwhile, two army volunteers also found time to escape the exercise and grab a cup of coffee with expectant media crews mingling at what was called
"We could have escaped into Birmingham but, because this is just a training exercise, we thought we would have a cup of coffee instead," they told
reporters, leaving organisers with much to reflect on after the region's first full scale "disaster".