'Chemical attack' hits shoppers in Sengkang's Compass One mall as SCDF conducts live exercise

HazMat specialists decked in orange suits taking samples of the chemical for identification.
HazMat specialists decked in orange suits taking samples of the chemical for identification.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SCDF
Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) emergency responders in Compass One shopping mall on May 31, 2018.
Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) emergency responders in Compass One shopping mall on May 31, 2018.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SCDF
A casualty receiving medical assistance at the on-site first aid point.
A casualty receiving medical assistance at the on-site first aid point.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SCDF
Casualties who required further medical help were taken to the hospitals via ambulances.
Casualties who required further medical help were taken to the hospitals via ambulances. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SCDF

SINGAPORE - Just after midnight on Thursday (May 31), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) emergency responders were seen racing into Compass One shopping mall.

"Shoppers" at an event held at the mall's atrium had "collapsed" after feeling unwell, and as the rest of them ran out the building in a panic, several were "injured" in the process.

But officers arrived at the scene and quickly evacuated the "casualties", while others used HazMat (Hazardous Materials) detectors to swiftly locate the source of the chemical release.

SCDF on Thursday gave the public a closer look at one of its live exercises through several posts on its Facebook page from 12.30am to 3am.

Such exercises are part of SCDF's ongoing efforts to validate and update its operational plans and procedures, it said.

Emergency vehicles involved in the exercise had their beacon lights switched on to alert motorists, and signs were placed in the vicinity of the mall to inform the public of the exercise, it added.

At about 2am, SCDF said in a post that HazMat specialists decked in orange suits had found the source of chemical release near the atrium, which resulted in the shoppers collapsing.

The HazMat specialists took samples of the chemical for identification and began mitigating its harmful effects.

Meanwhile, casualties who were evacuated were put through the decontamination process.

 

In a video, rescuers from the SCDF Special Rescue Unit were seen tending to them at the Mass Decontamination Vehicle, which is purpose-built to accommodate a higher capacity of walking and lying casualties exposed to chemical agents.

Once the casualties were cleared of the contaminants, officers provided medical assistance at the on-site first aid point, as seen in a series of photos shared by SCDF.

Others who required further medical help were taken to the hospitals via ambulances, said SCDF in its last update of the exercise.

Such exercises were previously conducted in Nex mall in Serangoon, One Marina Boulevard and Selegu Tower on Sentosa, among other locations across Singapore.