Hong Kong MTR

Hong Kong police take down ‘lone-wolf attacker’ in MTR station anti-terror drill

Exercise also sees Explosive Ordinance Disposal Bureau officers blow up ‘explosive device’ found at scene

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 July, 2017, 3:06pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 July, 2017, 3:06pm

About 100 heavily armed Hong Kong police officers wearing bullet-proof vests and carrying shields were deployed to subdue an armed “lone-wolf attacker” in an anti-terror exercise at a railway station in the early hours of Friday.

Between 2am and 3.30am, when the line was not in operation, officers trained at the MTR airport express service’s Hong Kong Station.

The drill simulated a lone-wolf attack with a gun and an axe in the crowded subway station in Central during business hours, a source with knowledge of the exercise said.

The message “Emergency announcement. Please leave the station immediately” was repeatedly broadcast at the scene throughout the mock terror attack.

Counter Terrorism Response Unit and Emergency Unit officers were first responders at the scene, forcing the “attacker” into at a corner and surrounding him.

Other officers from the Railway police district helped to evacuate “commuters” from the station. Some officers posing as passengers raised their hands and were checked by police before being allowed to leave the station.

After a standoff, the “terrorist” was eventually subdued and pinned to the floor before being handcuffed and taken away.

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As part of the exercise, an “explosive device” was also found at the scene.

A sniffer dog was dispatched to search the station. Officers from the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Bureau were sent in to examine the item.

A remote-controlled robot was deployed to blow up the device, marking the end of the exercise.

According to police, the anti-terror exercise was held by the Counter Terrorism Response Unit, the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Bureau, the Emergency Unit and the Police Dog Unit, together with MTR Corporation.

The force said the drill was to test and upgrade the command and coordination capability of anti-terror and frontline units and enhance their professional knowledge in response to emergency incidents.

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The department reiterated that as of now, there has been no intelligence indicating that Hong Kong has been targeted for attack. The city’s terrorism threat level remains “moderate”.

“In order to ensure a high level of preparedness for attack, the force will conduct regular anti-terror exercises to further improve counterterrorism contingency plans and enhance coordination with other private institutions,” a police spokesman said.