However, rumours soon gave way to awe and rapt attention from onlookers, as the National Disaster Management Authority went about conducting a mock security drill outside the mall to test the system for better response.
Pradeep, emergency co-ordinator, Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority, told Deccan Herald it was a routine exercise and the twelfth such in the State.
Last week, similar drills were conducted on the Chamundi Hills and at the Mysore Palace.
Pradeep said the drills tested two things: Co-ordination between various departments and their response, and the real time-response.
He said that with the increasing frequency of mock drills, officials of various departments were being educated and co-ordination was making a gradual incremental progress.
Fourteen government departments and 30 hospitals were involved in Saturday’s security drill, the NDMA sources said. The exercise was led by Brigadier Dr B K Khanna, a senior specialist, NDMA, New Delhi, and attended by Dr G C Prakash, DC, Bangalore Urban District, local DCP T D Pawar, and senior officials from the police and the fire departments.
The 45-minute drill started with two artificially created, controlled explosions by the fire department at 10 am.
Pradeep said the organisers had announced the start of the drill over loudspeakers an hour in advance and continued to inform the public it was a mock drill.
“So, there was no reason for panic,” he said.