Car crash, shoot-out in counter-terror exercise

ST VIDEO: FABIAN KOH
National Library Board staff (in blue) rendering aid to "casualties" as Singapore Civil Defence Force officers arrive during the drill at the library. Above: A masked gunman "exchanging fire" with police officers during Exercise Heartbeat in the chil
Above: A masked gunman "exchanging fire" with police officers during Exercise Heartbeat in the children's section of the National Library yesterday.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
National Library Board staff (in blue) rendering aid to "casualties" as Singapore Civil Defence Force officers arrive during the drill at the library. Above: A masked gunman "exchanging fire" with police officers during Exercise Heartbeat in the chil
National Library Board staff (in blue) rendering aid to "casualties" as Singapore Civil Defence Force officers arrive during the drill at the library. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
National Library Board staff (in blue) rendering aid to "casualties" as Singapore Civil Defence Force officers arrive during the drill at the library. Above: A masked gunman "exchanging fire" with police officers during Exercise Heartbeat in the chil
BOLLARDS AS A DETERRENT (above): We have seen how vehicles overseas have been used to ram into pedestrians, so the installation of these crash-rated bollards will be a suitable and effective deterrent, should such an emergency situation arise. - MS SUN XUELING, Senior Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Home Team agencies and community test joint response in drill at National Library

A car crash, masked gunmen and a shoot-out disturbed the peace at the National Library early yesterday in the latest simulated terror attack exercise.

Home Team agencies and the community tested their joint response to a scenario in which a car crashed into a bollard in the atrium of the Bugis building, before three masked gunmen emerged and sprayed bullets into a crowd.

Two of the attackers were subsequently shot by responding police officers, while the remaining one made his way to the children's section in the library's basement. Children reading were sent scurrying to hide from the attacker.

The police soon arrived and, after a brief exchange of gunfire, took down the gunman, while Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers treated the wounded.

It was all part of Exercise Heartbeat, a series of drills that have taken place each year since 2009.

Ms Sun Xueling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development, observed yesterday's exercise, which was organised by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and SCDF, and supported by the National Library Board (NLB).

In the run-up to the exercise, about 500 staff and tenants at the building were trained on the SGSecure "run, hide, tell" protocol and improvised first-aid skills. The NLB also reviewed its response plans, based on guidelines from the SPF and the Ministry of Manpower.

The exercise involved 180 participants, including Stamford Primary School pupils, SPF and SCDF officers and NLB staff.

  • 180

  • Number of participants in yesterday's Exercise Heartbeat, including Stamford Primary School pupils, SPF and SCDF officers and NLB staff.

It featured crash-rated bollards at the library's atrium which were installed recently.

"We have seen how vehicles overseas have been used to ram into pedestrians, so the installation of these crash-rated bollards will be a suitable and effective deterrent, should such an emergency situation arise," said Ms Sun.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2018, with the headline 'Car crash, shoot-out in counter-terror exercise'. Print Edition | Subscribe