© AFP Photo / Kimihiro Hoshino
Emergency officials in Maine have taken part in a training exercise in preparation for a zombie apocalypse. This comes just weeks after the federal government publicly denied the existence of zombies.
Around 100 emergency responders from eight different counties participated in the event in the quiet city of Bangor.
The premise: an unknown virus originating from Jamaica has reached Maine, turning the infected into zombies. Once infected, the virus quickly spreads to the brain, and turns the host into a full-fledged zombie, who has only one thing on its mind: biting other people.
The officials were armed with two would-be vaccines - one to prevent the infection from reaching the brain, and one to bring the zombies back to life.
"We have identified in several states, particularly Texas, New York, Illinois outbreaks of these civil disturbances and biting," one official said. "And in conjunction with that there are also widespread power outages.
The event may have been a staged act, with locals playing zombies, but it gave emergency responders an opportunity to prepare for a real life epidemic.
"This gives us the opportunity to do something a little bit different, but it still has the same principles that would apply in a real situation," Kathy Knight, director of the Northeastern Maine Regional Resource Center told the Bangor Daily News
. Emergency workers "need to figure out what they need, how they're going to respond and how they are going to share their resources to respond to the disaster. They need to know who to go to outside their community to find the resources they don't have, so it's a different twist."
The training exercise comes just several weeks after the US Center for Disease Control publicly denied the existence of zombies
Rumors of a "zombie apocalypse" have been on the rise after a series of disturbing incidents.
In Florida, police caught a naked man chewing on the face of another person. They eventually shot him dead after unsuccessfully trying to push him away from the victim.
In Maryland, an engineering student allegedly stabbed a man to death and ate his heart and brain.
In Canada, a porn actor was detained on charges that he had killed and dismembered his lover. He is alleged to have recorded a video of himself copulating with some of the body parts, and consuming others. He is also suspected of sending the limbs of the victim to the headquarters of political parties, as well as two schools in Vancouver.