Ricochet News

Emergency drill successfully held at Port Elizabeth's Baywest Mall

Emergency drill successfully held at Port Elizabeth's Baywest Mall

Full evacuation to test readiness in event of security threat, no one injured

The following statement has been issued by Baywest Mall general manager Troy Zunckel in connection with the emergency drill at the centre earlier today. 

At 9am on Tuesday morning, Baywest Mall, with the cooperation of the South African Police Service, executed an emergency drill involving the full evacuation of the centre. The aim of the drill was to test the mall’s readiness in the event of a security threat.

The drill commenced with a mock bomb threat made via telephone to centre management, who then alerted SAPS via the 10111 emergency call centre. The Baywest Mall security team proceeded with a shop-to-shop search as tenants and shoppers were evacuated to safety at muster points outside the centre.

Officers from the Kabega Park police station were on the scene within minutes as well as members of the K9 unit and explosive unit. Traffic officers were also on hand to manage the flow of vehicles onto access roads around the mall.

 After a thorough search of the mall, a police sniffer dog found the “suspicious parcel” in the food court, which was then removed by officers from the explosive unit.

The entire simulation took just under an hour, no one was injured in the process and trading resumed as normal thereafter.

Baywest Mall would like to stress the importance of conducting emergency drills such as this against the backdrop of international terrorism threats and in light of recent serious incidents at other shopping malls in the metro. Centre management apologises for any inconvenience caused.

The mall takes the safety of shoppers very seriously and is proud to continue its good working relationship with SAPS, which includes having an officer stationed at the Baywest info desk.