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Hazards at aircraft accident sites: Guidance for police and emergency personnel

The first people to arrive at an aircraft accident site can significantly help minimise injury and loss of life, reduce property loss through damage and fire, and prevent loss of clues and evidence as to the factors that contributed to the accident.

To preserve evidence for an effective investigation, it is essential to appropriately manage and control the accident site.

Often, emergency services (police, fire brigades and ambulance) are the first trained personnel at aircraft accident sites.

This booklet, jointly produced by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and the Directorate of Defence Aviation and Air Force Safety (DDAAFS), assists you, in your emergency services role, to better understand the essential procedures as well as the many hazards on aircraft accident sites.

The booklet also provides guidance to civil authorities, the military, or others arriving at an aircraft accident site.

It supersedes the joint booklet: Civil and Military Aircraft Accident Procedures for Police Officers and Emergency Services Personnel (Editions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5).

This booklet also features a 'what to do' checklist in its centre pages for easy reference.

The checklist should help personnel undertake essential actions as safely as possible.

For both civilian and military aircraft, accidents must be reported as soon as possible. 

Civil: All civil aircraft accidents are required, by law, to be reported to the ATSB: 1800 011 034.

Military: All military aircraft accidents are required to be reported to the DDAAFS Duty Officer on 0410 626 357 and, IF PRACTICABLE, the nearest military base.


Type: Safety Education Material
Series number: Issue 6
Publication date: 19 February 2014
Publication number: Issue 6 - January 2014
Related: First responders
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Last update 07 April 2014
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