More than 10,000 commuters who were boarding the Downtown Line (DTL) at Newton station yesterday, Feb 4, went through bag checks and security screenings in an eight-hour drill from 10am to 6pm.
Jointly conducted by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SBS Transit, this exercise involved about 60 security personnel in total, according to a report by Todayonline.
The drill – dubbed "Exercise Station Guard 2018" – was the largest emergency preparedness exercise at an MRT station to date. It aimed to test out SBS Transit’s security measures, ground implementation plans and sensitise commuters to the possibility of bag checks.
The security screening was conducted at Exit A of the Downtown Line at Newton MRT. Fare gates at Exit C were closed and commuters were directed to Exit A instead. During the exercise, commuters’ belongings and baggage were scanned by X-ray machines. The passengers were also required to pass through metal detector frames before they could enter the fare gates.
One of the reasons why Newton station was chosen as the venue for the first exercise this year was the high volume of commuters passing through it. Approximately 1,500 commuters pass through the fare gates at Exit A of the Downtown Line at Newton station every hour, according to a spokesperson from LTA.