Police and government units face chemical ‘bomb’ in anti-terror drill at Hong Kong Coliseum
In first for exercise of this kind, operation also involved 100 members of the public, in addition to 500 officers and other personnel
About 500 police officers and personnel from other government units as well as some 100 members of the public took part in an anti-terrorism exercise at the Hong Kong Coliseum in Hung Hom on Tuesday night.
The interdepartmental drill, code-named “Wildeagle”, involved a constructed scenario where armed terrorists entered the Coliseum, the city’s iconic multi-purpose indoor arena with a capacity of 12,500, and took the audience hostage.
The “terrorists” also detonated a simulated chemical bomb.
Different police units responded, and they eventually subdued the terrorists and evacuated the crowd.
Those who might have been contaminated by the explosion had to undergo a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) decontamination process by the Fire Services Department.
The exercise was organised by the police Counter Terrorism and Internal Security Division, involving more than 500 officers from the Counter Terrorism Response Unit, “Flying Tigers” Special Duty Unit, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau, Police Negotiation Cadre, Police Tactical Unit, Emergency Unit, Organised Crime and Triad Bureau, Fire Services Department, Government Flying Service and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.
The event was also the first such exercise to involve public engagement, with the participation of more than 100 members of Junior Police Call and Senior Police Call, groups which aim to foster police-youth and police-senior citizen partnerships in the fight against crime.
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A police spokesman said the objectives of this exercise were to assess the effectiveness of force-level counter terrorism plans and procedures and the interdepartmental coordination in conducting a proactive operation.
The department also reminded the public of a previously issued rule of thumb for what to do in case of an attack: run, hide and report.
Police have staged more than a dozen such drills this year.
The spokesman added that there was no specific intelligence suggesting that Hong Kong would be targeted for any terrorist attack, and that the city’s terrorist threat level remained “moderate.”
Additional reporting by Christy Leung