More crowd control measures for MBS drone show after large turnout sparks safety concerns

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SINGAPORE - Marina Bay Sands (MBS) is rolling out additional crowd control measures after its dragon-themed drone show drew a large turnout on Feb 10, sparking safety concerns.

The Legend of the Dragon Gate, which features 1,500 synchronised drones forming aerial displays above the Marina Bay waterfront, will also run on Feb 11, 12, 16, 17 and 18 at 8pm.

Some visitors who attended the free show on Feb 10 took to social media to complain about various problems including congestion, lack of clear signage and blocked exits.

There were also reports of people rushing back into the packed mall to seek shelter from a sudden downpour just as the show started, which led to chaotic scenes as others were trying to move in the other direction to catch the display.

An MBS spokesperson told The Straits Times a few thousand people were estimated to have caught the show.

In a statement on Feb 11, MBS said it has increased its security staff and activated its security plans for major events, similar to those used during the New Year’s Day countdown, to better manage the anticipated crowds for the upcoming drone shows.

Accountant Seraphina Tang told ST she had a “disappointing experience”, noting that everyone started rushing forward closer to the waterfront before the 10-minute show began.

“A man elbowed my elderly mother to get to the front. She was hit in the stomach and was coughing after that,” said the 37-year-old.

Mr Tan Hwee Leong, a 23-year-old student, expressed frustration over being separated from his friends due to the crowd pushing them apart.

He told ST: “I purposely came down early in the afternoon to stand at a good position. I’m upset that I did not get to catch a clear view of the drones.”

Others had a good time watching the drones on the first day of Chinese New Year. Ms Divya Venkataraman, a 41-year-old teacher, described the display as “magical and scintillating”.

“I could appreciate what a humongous effort has gone behind this spectacular show. Despite the sudden downpour, the show was too enchanting, and the rain did not dampen my spirits,” she said.

For its remaining five shows, MBS advised commuters to use alternative MRT stations to prevent overcrowding at Bayfront MRT. Those at Mist Walk should use Downtown MRT station, while people at the Helix Bridge should use Promenade MRT station.

Mall entrances and exits at The Shoppes may be ...

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