More than 18,000 people took part in anti-terror attack exercise
More than 18,000 people took part in an anti-terror attack exercise today.
Codenamed "Heartbeat Alpha 2012", it focuses on security threats at visitor hotspots such as the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore, and Gardens by the Bay.
It's the fourth annual exercise involving various Home Team agencies, the private sector and business community under the Safety and Security Watch Groups.
Mayhem at the newly-opened Marina Bay Cruise Centre, when four masked gunmen started shooting randomly.
The Mumbai-styled attack was over in a few minutes when police officers arrived at the scene.
A similar simulated attack took place at the Flower Dome within the nearby Gardens by the Bay, where an international conference was held.
And over at Suntec City, another scenario was being staged.
A vigilant passenger in a public bus noticed a bag which was unattended and alerted the bus captain.
The bus then detonated after all passengers were evacuated.
Triage areas were set up to provide emergency treatment to the casualties.
The exercise tests the readiness of various agencies and partners on how they could work together in a crisis.
MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC Indranee Rajah witnessed the exercise.
"I thought it was a very good exercise because this takes place at a divisional level. What it means is that the division in the preparation for the exercise have to really think through the scenarios. The police have to work with SCDF, and both police and SCDF have to work with stakeholders like the cruise centre, the Marina Bay management, and Conrad hotel management and that exercise is valuable itself, because you're doing scenario planning and it forces you to think ahead, so that to me is the most important part of it."
Commander of Central Police Division, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Daniel Tan said efforts were made to minimise inconveniences to the public during the exercise.
"So before the exercise itself we had to come out with advisories, road closures, expect inconveniences. I think the public sees the value in this. Earlier on some of the hotel guests commented that they enjoyed it, and thought that it was good the authorities are working with the community to ensure preparedness and vigilance."
The effects of the exercise were so real that concerned members of the public alerted the authorities.
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