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Police stage “Active Shooter” response drill at Central Phuket

PHOTO: National News Bureau of Thailand

Police in Phuket held an “Active Shooter” training drill at the Central Floresta shopping centre yesterday, October 16. The emergency response drill was in response to the October 3 tragedy in Bangkok, when a 14 year old opened fire in the Siam Paragon shopping mall, killing 3 people and injuring several others (a third victim died on the weekend).

The Phuket News reports that the drill was led by Suraphong Thanomchit, Region 8 Police Commander, and Sermphan Sirikong, Phuket Provincial Police Commander. It took place on the first floor of the Central Floresta shopping shopping centre, between 8.30am and 9.30am, before the mall opened to shoppers.

In the simulation, a man posing as a criminal with a firearm entered the mall, concealing his face and refusing to allow officers to search him. The exercise then continued with the man “shooting” shoppers in the mall, injuring people and taking others hostage.

As part of the exercise, Wichit Police Station were alerted and responded to the situation, with the outcome being that all hostages were freed and the “shooter” was the only person killed. Police officers also inspected the shooter’s bag and found no explosives.

A number of emergency medical personnel also took part in the exercise, helping the “injured”. Meanwhile, Tourist Police informed the participants who played “tourists” of what was happening, offering assistance and guidance.

Sermphan says the drill was part of the annual incident response plan.

“This (simulation) has been done once before at Phuket Boat Lagoon and this rehearsal is linked to the real situation that happened in Bangkok earlier this month. Police officers are ready in every aspect, including traffic, Tourist Police, Immigration police. We are ready to provide safety for citizens and tourists, both Thai and foreigners.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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