SINGAPORE: One person was shot dead and another two detained after an incident in the vicinity of the Shangri-La hotel early Sunday (May 31) morning, police said.
In a statement, the Singapore Police Force said that a "trio was earlier stopped at a Police vehicular checkpoint set up along Ardmore Park. When asked to open the car boot for checks, the driver suddenly accelerated the vehicle towards Anderson Road.
"Despite Police warnings to stop, the driver continued to crash through Police barricades, endangering the lives of the officers. Police opened fire at the vehicle to stop further danger. The vehicle subsequently stopped at the junction of Orange Grove Road and Anderson Road."
Police checkpoints had been put in place near Shangri-La Hotel, where a three-day security summit was taking place.
#SLD15: Our reporter Pichayada Promchertchoo updates us on the scene near Shangri-La hotel after an incident this morning led police to shoot dead one person; 2 others were detained. http://bit.ly/1HW6tEpPosted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on Saturday, May 30, 2015
Substances believed to be drugs were found on one of the persons arrested, the statement added. Orange Grove Road, Anderson Road and Ardmore Park are temporarily closed to facilitate police operations.
The police say they are "in control of the situation", and have advised that members of public stay away from the area.
At 11.30am, the police announced that Orange Grove Road and Anderson Road were re-opened to the public.
Police later added that they and officers from the Singapore Armed Forces' Chemical Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Explosives (CBRE) Defence Group searched the vehicle involved in the incident at the vicinity of Shangri-La hotel and did not find any explosives, arms or weapons in the vehicle, according to a statement from the police.
"A bag containing white powdery substances believed to contain controlled drugs was recovered in the vehicle, " the police said. "The driver of the Singapore-registered red Subaru Impreza, a 34-year-old man, was pronounced dead at scene. Two men, aged 26 and 31 who were passengers in the vehicle, have been arrested.
"The 31-year-old man sustained injuries during the incident and was conveyed to hospital conscious. Substances believed to be controlled drugs and an item believed to be a drug-taking utensil were found on the men arrested.
"The driver and one of the passengers are wanted by the authorities for various offences. All three subjects are Singaporeans. No weapons were found on the three subjects."
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said that activating the Bomb Disposal Unit was one of the many things that the police did right.
"They followed protocol and established a cordon around. Car and people were stopped from entering the danger zone, should any explosion occur," he said on Facebook. "The thought did cross my mind while waiting (outside the cordon) – if there was an improvised explosive device detected, the implications would have been very sobering and serious for Singapore.
"All Singaporeans are thankful that it did not happen this time, but with the threat of extremist terrorism, we must all be prepared if an actual terrorist plot does occur. And even if it does, if we stick together, confront it resolutely, we will be able to keep safe, protect each other and preserve our way of life."
File photo of someone from the Bomb Disposal Unit. (Photo: Ng Eng Hen's Facebook Page)
Said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in a statement on the incident: "Police have kept me informed of the situation which they have brought swiftly under control. Investigations so far indicate it is a situation related to drugs.
"Police will act firmly, according to the law, with anyone who breaks the law, to make sure they maintain public safety and security."
The discharge of a firearm by police is rare in Singapore. The last time a police officer had to open fire was reportedly in 2008 when a knife-wielding man was shot dead at Outram MRT station.
That afternoon, Dr Ng thanked the Home Team for their hard work.
"While many were still sleeping, our Home Team kept us safe and did all the right things," he wrote on his Facebook. "The incident was an isolated one and drug-related, but the police did the right thing, ever vigilant to the fact that this could have been a terrorist plot.
"I felt extremely proud of our officers and men involved, who do their job with great professionalism and the highest standards. Because of their good efforts, we can continue with our lives as per normal each day. Thank you for keeping us safe - Salute!"