- Boston Logan International Airport holds fire training exercise on anniversary of 9/11
- Massachusetts Port Authority issues apology in response to harsh condemnation
- Gov. Deval Patrick: "The timing could not be worse"
Officials from the Massachusetts Port Authority issued an apology Wednesday after conducting a fire training exercise at Boston Logan International Airport on the 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
"The fire department will be training this morning. Smoke on the airfield is part of the training," the airport's Twitter account announced.
In response to negative reactions on social media sites, the port authority, which operates the airport, said in a statement, "Massport apologizes for conducting the fire training exercise and understands that it may have offended many of those touched by the events of Sept. 11."
"It's just dumb," Gov. Deval Patrick said. "The timing could not be worse."
American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 traveled out of Logan and struck the World Trade Center towers in New York City after being hijacked on September 11, 2001.
The terror attack orchestrated by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden killed 2,977 people in New York City; Washington, DC; and Pennsylvania, in the worst such attack in U.S. history.
Steve MacDonald, spokesman for the Boston Fire Department, told CNN on Wednesday that the department had no involvement and that the airport used its own fire department for the exercise.
"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," Massport's apology stated. "The airport community recognizes the day with moments of silence, a service in the chapel, and a wreath at the 9/11 memorial."
In an unrelated act of vandalism, police are trying to find out who placed two cardboard cutout images of crashing planes at the 9/11 Memorial in downtown Lafayette, Louisiana, according to CNN affiliate KATC.