Clarke Quay sees 'gunmen' subdued in nightclub area's first anti-terror drill Exercise Heartbeat

About 140 people took part in Exercise Heartbeat 2017, a counter-terrorism exercise organised by the Singapore Police Force and the Ministry of Manpower.

SINGAPORE - Two gunmen "opened fire" in a Clarke Quay nightclub on Friday afternoon (Nov 10), but they were swiftly brought down by police officers.

Thankfully, it was not for real: The exercise was a counter-terrorism simulation organised by the Singapore Police Force and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

In an earlier segment, the police took down a knife-wielding attacker who had run through a covered walkway, stabbing bystanders.

In a statement on Friday, the organisers said Exercise Heartbeat was carried out to test the response of the police, businesses and workers in the area.

In its ninth year, it was the first time that the annual exercise was conducted in Clarke Quay, a popular nightclub area that draws about a million visitors each month.

About 140 people took part in Friday's exercise.

This year's scenario was modelled after the attack on Borough Market in London that left seven people dead and 48 injured in June.


An attacker uses a knife to stab and slash victims at an anti-terrorism exercise at Clarke Quay on Nov 10, 2017. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN


The police scan the crowd for other threats in an anti-terrorism exercise at Clarke Quay on Nov 10, 2017. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

In 2016, the exercise was held at Esplanade - Theatres by the Bay in September, almost a year after a terrorist attack in Paris killed 89 people during a sold-out rock concert.

The MOM worked with CapitaLand Mall Asia, which manages the Clarke Quay area, to build up businesses' reactions towards terrorism as part of its SGSecure at Workplaces programme.

It has been encouraging employees to download the SGSecure app, training them on evacuation routes and keeping a list of the businesses' safety representatives.

Second Minister for Manpower and Home Affairs Josephine Teo said that the response of the building management and the tenants will make a critical difference when a terrorist attack occurs at the workplace.


The police arrive and subdue the gunmen in the club in an anti-terrorism exercise at Clarke Quay on Nov 10, 2017.  ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

"If they know how to respond swiftly, they can save lives, minimise disruption and we are more likely to recover quickly," she said.

Companies can find out more about SGSecure through www.sgsecure.sg and www.mom.gov.sg/sgsecure