On Saturday morning (27 April), it was reported that “loud sounds” were heard at around 11.30am in different parts of Singapore, including Orchard and Bukit Timah.
Following that, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) noted that they are “in the midst of determining the cause of the loud sounds”.
However, after a couple of hours, the SPF wrote an announcement in its Facebook page stating that the sound could be related to “planned detonation activities” carried out by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) at the Southern Islands.
“The police have verified with MINDEF (Ministry of Defence) and ascertained that the loud sounds heard this morning could be related to planned detonation activities carried out by the SAF at the Southern Islands that started at 11.45am and ended at 1.30pm. The public are advised not to be alarmed,” SPF said.
It appears that after the Police received the first report about explosion sounds being heard, they “conducted checks on the ground and nothing incriminating has been found”. They also added that “there have been no abnormalities and injuries reported”.
Many netizens revealed that they initially thought the loud bang was actually thunder, and they heard it in various areas like Kallang, Queenstown, Balestier, Queenstown and more. Some of them said the sound caused a strong vibration and made the doors and windows vibrate.
In addition, Facebook user Matt Henderson also uploaded an audio of the loud bang heard from Holland Village.
Now, looking at SPF’s statement on Facebook, it comes out rather strange that they could not be completely certain that the explosion sounds heard did come out of planned detonation activities by the SAF.
This is because MINDEF would surely know the exact timings when their detonations went off. Therefore, by simply matching the timings of when their detonations went off and when the public heard the explosion sounds, the SPF could easily determine the cause of the “loud sound”.
But, when SPF just assumes that the sounds came from MINDEF only because they were carrying out an event, then it’s not really assuring for the public.
As for the audio that was uploaded by a netizen, it also brings us to another question of why is there no recording of the sound by the Government given that there are plenty of surveillance around the country?
If there are devices to recorded placed in most parts of the country, then it’s no-brainer to find out where exactly the sound came from. For example, if the recorder picks up the first bang at a certain area and if the area happens to be where the SAF is holding its exercise, then it’s safe to conclude that the loud sound did come from the exercise conducted by the SAF.
However, in this scenario, no recording was recorded by the Government’s surveillance, and with a less-convincing statement by the police, it all draws us back to the crucial question of – was the planned detonation activities carried out by the SAF the real reason behind the loud bangs heard across Singapore?