Monday, December 9, 2013

About last night

Last night was crazy. Sometime after 9pm, there was a fatal traffic accident at Little India involving a private bus and an Indian foreign worker. An ambulance and a police patrol car responded to the accident. In the midst of trying to extricate the deceased from under the bus, the crowd turned unruly and started the riot - attacking the bus driver and his assistant, the bus, the ambulance, the police car as well as the officers.

Wait. Did you hear what I said? There was a riot. In Singapore. There hasn't been a riot here since 1969. When I first heard of the riot, I actually thought it was happening in India and not Little India in Singapore. 

Things turned ugly very quickly. More people joined in and it spread. Everything and anything became a weapon - beer bottles, tiles from the ground, dustbins, flower pots, vegetables, uprooted trees, stones, bricks. The target: the uniformed officers.

It was Sunday night in Little India. This means the place was very likely jam packed with foreign workers. I've been to Little India on a regular riot-free Sunday afternoon. It's pretty scary. So many people squeezed together.

You can read more about it here and here.

Not everyone participated actively in the riot. Many were just bystanders. Some just jeered or cheered. A few were taking videos. In this video, you can see a guy trying to get the mob to stop. In vain. I wonder what happened to him?

Utter madness:

via asia one

Meanwhile, me and everyone else in Singapore were watching the riot on fb and twitter. It was really terrifying, yet unreal.

This video rattled me. The mob surrounding the emergency vehicles.
In this video, emergency officers ran for their lives. I felt so sad. The mob was jeering. How frightening for the officers who don't even make that much money.
In this video, the mob tried to overturn a police car and there are people in the car!
This video shows the tailend of the riot.

Thankfully, within an hour, the situation was under control after busloads of riot police came. Amazingly, not a single shot was fired. The police really exercised maximum restraint. It's a good thing guns aren't allowed in Singapore otherwise there would have been more tragedies. Weirdly, only 27 people were arrested. I guess, the rest ran away.

I wonder if this guy was arrested.

The total damage:
22 Police Officers and 5 Auxilliary Police Officers, the bus driver, the bus assistant and 12 SCDF officers were injured.
16 police vehicles, 9 SCDF vehicles(three ambulances, one Red Rhino, one fire engine, and four support vehicles) were damaged.

Thankfully, no one else died. The bus driver has also been arrested and is out on bail.

This weekend, there is a ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol at Little India. Meanwhile life goes on. But for the authorities, they have much to do and think about.


Jane said...

oh my gosh. that is horrible. i don't understand why a riot would occur. so scary... and tragic..

Linda said...

wow! That's really sad. It's frightening what a "mob mentality" can make people do. I imagine most of those people would not have even thought to do those horrible things if they had not been in a crowd.
I hope things get back to normal quickly. It can be scary when chaos gets the upper hand. I'm glad you were not there when it happened!

Christel said...

When I first heard that a riot broke out, my first thought was also: What? Are you sure it's Little India, not India?

Sighs. Just thankful that no innocent lives were lost. :)

Unknown said...

It's a scary world we live in. You never know where violents will occur. Crazy people out there.

pennydog said...

Oh wow, I've not seen the videos but glad you're OK, it sounds similar to the ones we had around the UK that were just pent up anger targetted at businesses and the emergency services. There is really no need for this kind of behaviour.

Sharon said...

Its been awhile, what with one thing & another. So sad about the riot. I really don't understand riot mob mentality. So scary. Since its been some time, I read back to what I can remember. I wanted you to know that I think of you often & wonder what you have been doing. I read every word of your posts, but not all of some others. I don't enter the "giveaways" for several reasons. I do take down addresses of the blogs I like & relate to, but with health issues, & time constraints, I don't get to any of them very often. Thank you.

jane p said...

I used to enter as many giveaways on SMS as possible. But having not won for a very long time, I've only entered one or two this round - only the ones that are so unusual and also one that I wish to revisit.

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