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September 5, 2012

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Giant floating plane on Huangpu only model meant for safety drill

A MODEL plane as big as a Boeing 757 was seen floating and being towed on city's Huangpu River yesterday, attracting curiosity and speculation among those who saw it.

Shanghai Maritime Administration explained yesterday it was a model to be used in a drill by the end of this month.

The plane got locals' attention yesterday morning after a person spotted it floating on the river and posted a picture on the Internet.

A white plane, escorted by about three vessels, was "traveling" on the water, the picture showed. Following the post, Internet users ventured guesses as to what it was, including some that thought it was an emergency landing of a new seaplane. The picture was quickly reposted more than 1,000 times.

"Don't worry, the plane was just taken from a shipyard to a city dock," said maritime officials.

Shanghai plans to use the model in the country's first drill to test emergency response and rescue to a plane's emergency ditching in water on September 26 at a Baoshan District dock.

The drill aims to increase emergency-response abilities. The drill was planned after an American plane successfully ditched in the Hudson River minutes after its takeoff in early 2009, officials said.


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