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Boston airport's 9/11 training drill leads to quick apology

BOSTON (Reuters) - A training drill at Boston's Logan International Airport involving fire crews on an airport tarmac on Wednesday - the 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks - drew quick criticism and prompted an apology from airport officials.

"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 airport said in a statement on Wednesday.

Airport officials had warned the public that the exercise, which involved emergency response personnel, would be held on the airfield and smoke would be visible. It did not interfere with flight operations, but the move drew criticism on the airport's Facebook page.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick also criticized the decision to hold the exercise on the anniversary of the attacks, when two hijacked airliners destroyed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, one damaged the Pentagon and one crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.

Almost 3,000 people died in the attacks. Two of the jets had taken off from Boston.

"It's just dumb," Patrick told reporters when asked about the timing of the event, according to local media. "The timing could not have been worse."

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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