NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Officials at Boston’s Logan International Airport apologized Wednesday for holding a fire drill, complete with smoke and flames, on the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The two hijacked jets that were flown into the World Trade Center towers flew out of Logan.
The runway fire drill was announced on the airport’s Facebook and Twitter accounts Wednesday morning.
“The fire department will be training this morning. Smoke on the airfield is part of the training,” the announcement read.
It drew harsh condemnation on the social media sites.
“How clueless and insensitive can you be to do it on this day of all days?” one woman wrote on the airport’s Facebook page.
“I’m speechless What were you thinking?” another woman wrote.
“That is ridiculous. Have some respect,” one man wrote. “People died 12 years ago on flights originating out of your airport. How dare you.”
The Massachusetts Port Authority, the agency that runs the airport, said in a statement that it “apologizes for conducting the fire training exercise and understands that it may have offended many of those touched by the events of Sept. 11.”
“Safety and security is our top priority and constant vigilance and readiness is critical, but the exercise should not have taken place on the anniversary of 9/11,” the statement continued.
Several events were held at the airport to mark the anniversary, including moments of silence and a service in the chapel.
Logan passengers seemed to agree that Sept. 11 is not a day to be testing the public’s threshold for tolerance.
“I realize fire training is important being in the fire service myself but probably today is not the most appropriate day,” Rick Jaslowski said.
Gov. Deval Patrick, who did not know in advance about the drill, calls the timing of it “dumb.” But he adds that he retained confidence in the leadership of the the port authority.
The drill involved what appeared to be a plane on fire and heavy black smoke could be seen drifting over the airfield, our sister station WBZ-TV reported.
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories:
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)