People living near Tenerife’s Los Rodeos Airport thought they were witnessing a re-run of the world’s worst air tragedy yesterday when smoke and flames were seen billowing from a plane parked on the runway.

Fire engines and ambulances rushed to the scene and a helicopter provided assistance overhead during the spectacular incident, which turned out to be an emergency exercise using real people. The drill, consisted of a crash between an airport vehicle and a fuel tanker under the wing of a plane, was ordered by the Airports Authority to test the procedures at Los Rodeos in the event of a major disaster like the tragedy which left over 500 passenger’s dead back in 1977 when two 747s collided.