POLICE, council officials, volunteers and paramedics took part in the second day of a multi-agency staged operation depicting a 'serious incident'.

Following Tuesday's training day, which saw two large coaches, a minibus, a lorry, a bicycle and five cars 'crash' for the exercise, the Howe Croft Community Centre saw a flurry of would-be concerned 'friends and family members' gather to find their loved ones possibly involved in the 'incident'.

The operation witnessed 'panicked people' - both seeking information and requiring counselling - being given refreshments, taken to designated quiet rooms, and being spoken to about 'fatalities' as part of the exercise.

DI Joe Williams of Dorset Police, an exercise control officer for the day, said: "This centre would be part of the response provided by the local authority following any serious injury. It's a focal point for friends and family to come to where they get information and report any concerns of any persons missing."

Thursday's training includes the introduction of an emergency 'mortuary' and how the police and local authority deal with bereaved residents, with the help of family liaison officers.