Mall evacuees recount the fear and panic

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Hundreds of people were evacuated from a Johor Bahru mall after a bomb threat was received by phone.

PETALING JAYA: Shoppers have filled social media with descriptions of their harrowing experience after being ordered to evacuate a shopping mall in Johor Bahru following a bomb threat.

Khairul Fadhli said his heart began pounding when a policeman began screaming orders for shoppers to evacuate the mall. “But we didn’t know why,” he said on Facebook.

Another identified as Hasnie wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that she had arrived at the mall at 6pm when she saw people panicking and evacuating the mall.

“I thought it was a fire drill, so I went in. But I was then told to head back and shops were closed. I found out (of the bomb threat) only through TikTok,” she posted.

Panic had gripped mall patrons after an evacuation was ordered following a bomb threat made by phone to the management by an unidentified person at about 6pm.

Intan Syafenaz said she had paid little attention when she heard a siren, dismissing it as another of the sirens heard through the day.

It was only when she saw people rushing out and pulling their children along, that she began to panic. “I began to tremble. I thought there was a fire. People were walking down the escalator rather fast,” she said on Facebook.

Johor police chief Kamarul Zaman Mamat said at 11pm the search through the mall was continuing but patrons were allowed back in the car park to get their vehicles out.

One car owner appealed to the “power of Twitter” for a Toyota owner to remove his vehicle as he could not get out and needed to get to work tomorrow. Half an hour later, he posted that he had managed to free his car, posting a photograph of the mall.

The New Straits Times reported that access to the mall was gradually restored from about 8.30pm for shoppers and mall staff through controlled entry points.

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