From the Governor's Office
Governor Rell Announces No-Fly Zone
Over Middletown Plant Site
Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced tonight that the state has secured a temporary no-fly zone over the site of the Middletown plant explosion because of the instability of the heavily damaged building. The Governor, who was at the scene for several hours today, said the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) worked through the Federal Aviation Authority to request the flight restrictions.
The flight restrictions are in effect until 5:21 p.m. Monday, February 8, and extend to a three nautical mile radius below 3,000 feet.
"We cannot have the safety of our first responders jeopardized," Governor Rell said. "The safety of the search and rescue workers is essential in order for them to carry out their work. I appreciate the cooperation of the federal government in helping us secure these restrictions. The state's efforts to support the city of Middletown and the families and victims profoundly affected by this tragedy are ongoing."
The Governor said the state has also dispatched a four-person Behavioral Health Team to help provide counseling for the families, workers and others affected. The state's search and rescue team, which includes specially trained dogs, will remain on the scene as long as needed. DEMHS personnel are continuing to staff Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which the Governor activated shortly after the explosion. Other state-coordinated responses today include:
* Part of the state's mobile field hospital was set up at the site for triage
* Meriden Mobile Command Post was deployed to the scene under Mutual Aid to provide on-scene command and control
* DEMHS Region 3 Incident Management Team (IMT) from the Hartford area was activated at request of Incident Command, activation approved by DEMHS, and the IMT is on scene providing support to Incident Command.
* The Mass Casualty trailer from DEMHS Region 2 from the New Haven area (containing medical supplies and equipment, including a generator and lights) was deployed and has now been de-activated.
* East Hartford has activated its Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) through DEMHS to assist with canteen services on the site
* Family assistance center set up by the Red Cross at Middletown City Hall