Man’s hand stuck in toilet drainage trap for 9 hours

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) rescued a man whose right hand was stuck in the drainage trap of the toilet in his master bedroom on Sunday.

The man, who lives with his wife and daughter in a Housing Board flat in Jurong West Street 52, was alone when the incident happened. It is believed that the incident occurred at about 1pm.

A neighbour on the same floor, who wanted to be known only as Madam Chang, said in Mandarin that the man's wife and daughter got home at about 4pm.

"They only realised that something had happened when they got home," said Madam Chang, a housewife. "The wife came running to my house screaming, asking to borrow an electric driller."

She added that the man's wife had told her that the man was taking a shower when a ring he was wearing slipped into the toilet's drainage trap.

According to Madam Chang, the man's hand had got stuck when he was trying to retrieve the ring.

SCDF arrived at the scene at about 6pm, and took four hours to release the man's hand.

A spokesman for SCDF said the operation involved them having to carefully cut the drainage piping, and drill the toilet floor from the man's unit and the one directly below, to free the trapped hand.

During the operation, SCDF officers supplied oxygen to the man, who was conscious and stable. He was taken to the National University Hospital at about 10pm, and was accompanied by his wife.

His daughter declined to speak to the media, requesting for privacy.

Mr Kalpesh Panchal, 34, who lives in the unit directly below, said SCDF officers came to his house at about 7pm.

They wanted to cut the ceiling in the toilet of the master bedroom to free the victim's hand.

"They informed me that someone's hand was stuck and they needed to knock off the ceiling," said Mr Kalpesh.

He added that he could see the victim's hand and fingers from below as SCDF officers carried out their work. They stayed at Mr Kalpesh's house for more than an hour.

"His hand was very fat and swollen," said Mr Kalpesh, who had sent his son and wife to a friend's home for the time being.

When The Straits Times visited Mr Kalpesh's home, the floor was dusty and there was a hole in his toilet's ceiling.

Officers from the Housing Development Board were also at the scene.

Mr Kalpesh added: "I need to clean up now. It's a mess, but it's a minor thing. Most important is that the man is safe."

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