EMERGENCY services converged on Rodney Parade in Newport last night to deal with a terrorist chemical attack.

Thankfully however, this was not the real thing, but a training exercise to gauge the effectiveness and co-ordination of the services' response to a major emergency.

Gwent Police, South Wales Fire and Rescue, and the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust were among the agencies that took part in the exercise with dozens of police officers, firefighters and paramedics on the scene.

Police, fire, ambulance and other emergency services, such as the coastguard, regularly conduct training exercises to ensure they are able to deal with any scenario requiring an emergency response.

From terrorist threats to natural disasters, a major emergency requires that all the emergency services and other agencies are prepared and able to deal with any challenges.

This one is understood to have involved the recovery of a body from the stadium's Bisley Stand, after all 'casualties' had been taken from the scene.

Personnel sent in to deal with the situation had to wear specialist protective clothing.

The exercise assessed the services' ability to respond appropriately, from the handling of the initial emergency call to the control room, to deploying personnel with the appropriate equipment, dealing with a siege situation, body recovery, decontamination, crime scene preservation, and a number of other scenarios.

Superintendent Glyn Fernquest, who led the exercise for Gwent Police, said: “While always hoping for the best as emergency services, we also plan for the worst.

"We will use the lessons learnt from the exercise to review and improve our major emergency plans so in the unlikely event of something like this occurring, the public of Gwent will get a well prepared and effective response.

“Hopefully the exercise didn’t cause residents any major disruption and we are grateful for their support.”