Reports of an air crash in Zimbabwe turned out to be a drill which had been kept secret from authorities around the world.
Media reports immediately circulated breaking the news that a plane capable of carrying 250 people had crashed on landing.
Zimbabwean officials said the incident involved a flight that had taken off from London.
A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman said he knew nothing about the incident.
It later emerged there had been no crash and the incident was an annual excercise conducted by Medical Rescue International.
The chief of national carrier Air Zimbabwe, Peter Chikumba, said he had also been kept in the dark.
He told the media that an emergency helpdesk had been set up for victims and their families.
Journalists who arrived at the airport saw smoke rising from a runway and were then taken to a room where they were told to wait.
David Chawota, the head of the Zimbabwe Civil Aviation Authority, said the media was duped to make the drill more realistic.
“Telling the media was part of the excercise. We wanted to seee how the media would react.
“In the event the drill was a success because all our systems worked perfectly. Police, security and hospital staff reacted swiftly.”