Changi General Hospital ward awash with water on Friday during rectification works

Maintenance works had been going on in Ward 16 not long before the incident but a pipe above the ward cracked, causing water to cascade onto the floor and spread across the room.
Maintenance works had been going on in Ward 16 not long before the incident but a pipe above the ward cracked, causing water to cascade onto the floor and spread across the room.PHOTOS: MATTHIAS CHONG, SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

SINGAPORE - An overnight stay for some patients in Changi General Hospital took an unexpected turn in the early hours of Friday morning (March 20) - when a water pipe cracked above a ward during "rectification works" and left the floor awash with water.

Maintenance works had been going on in Ward 16 not long before the incident, The Straits Times understands, when some quiet sawing and banging noises could be heard.

But a pipe above the ward cracked, causing water to cascade onto the floor and spread across the room. Things had returned to normal by Friday morning. No one was injured, nor were hospital operations affected.

The hospital's director of support operations Helena Tan told The Straits Times on Sunday that the hospital had been carrying out "rectification works" to the water pipe above the false ceiling in the ward in the early hours of Friday.

She said: "This is non-noisy work and is typically carried out when the water usage is lowest in a 24-hour period to minimise inconvenience to patients. As a safety measure, the area was cordoned off and a section of the ceiling was opened to facilitate works.

"However, a part of the pipe cracked resulting in water leakage.

"The water supply was cut off immediately. No one was injured and the draining and cleaning of the ward have been completed. Hospital operations were not affected as well. We have also rectified the faulty pipe and closed off the ceiling."

The hospital apologises for any inconvenience caused, she added.

Nurses did their best to reassure patients despite the disturbance, sources said.

"It was a trying night for all the nurses and staff on Ward 16," said an ST reader who was there that evening but not employed by the hospital. "I was totally amazed at the stoic spirit of them all helping to not only look after the patients who needed them but to create an environment for recovery and rest.

"If we could all be like them, we would be better for it."