3-year-old boy falls 6 storeys from Queenstown flat

3-year-old boy falls 6 storeys from Queenstown flat

A three-year-old boy is in critical condition in hospital after falling six storeys from the family flat in Queenstown.

The boy, who is believed to be Indonesian, was at home with his maternal grandmother when the incident happened at Block 168, Stirling Road, at about 6pm on Tuesday.

Instead of waiting for paramedics to arrive, the grandmother had picked up the injured and crying child and carried him back to the flat. Neighbours later directed paramedics to the unit.

The incident comes less than a week after a three-year-old girl got her head stuck between the balcony and a metal pole following a fall from the balcony. 

A resident who lives on the first storey and who wanted to be known only as Madam Lim said that about five minutes before the fall, the grandmother had gone downstairs to pick up a pair of children's shorts.

"I thought it was strange because it had been raining earlier, so it couldn't have been part of the laundry.

"But I didn't think too much about it," the 66-year-old newspaper distributor told The New Paper in a mix of Mandarin and Hokkien yesterday.

She continued chatting with her neighbour, a 56-year-old engineering assistant who wanted to be known only as Madam B.

Moments later, as both women turned to go home, they heard a thud.

Said Madam Lim: "I heard a loud sound and looked up to see this boy on the parapet above (Madam B's) back door. He then fell off the parapet together with a bamboo pole and landed just outside her back window.

"If she had walked a bit slower, he might have fallen on her."

Although there was no blood visible, the boy was crying very loudly, she said. Madam Lim said two men at a nearby multi-storey carpark saw the fall and rushed over to help.

They told her the boy had fallen out of a kitchen window and hit some bamboo poles on the way down before landing on the parapet and rolling off.

Madam Lim said that one of the men called for an ambulance while Madam B called the police.

CRADLED

A domestic helper, Ms Cherrylyn Fabillano, 28, went to the boy and cradled his head to try to keep him still.

She said: "I heard the sound of something dropping followed by loud crying.

"There was no blood, but the others told me he had fallen on his legs, so the impact could have caused a back injury.

"He kept moving around so I wanted to make sure he kept still before the paramedics came."

Within minutes, the boy's grandmother showed up. Madam B said the woman appeared shocked and asked, "What do I do?" in Bahasa Indonesia, so she told her to wait for help to arrive. "After a few minutes, she picked the boy up by the armpits and carried him home. All of us tried to stop her, but she refused to listen," Madam B said.

"When the grandmother carried him (by putting his head on her shoulder), I could see his back was swollen and there was already bruising."

Ms Fabillano said: "I was worried there might be internal fractures, but the grandmother didn't listen to anyone."

A doctor has advised against moving a victim with traumatic injuries as this could make the injuries worse or even kill the victim.

When the paramedics arrived, they were led to the family's flat. They took the boy to the National University Hospital (NUH).

He was conscious at the time. He was still in critical condition yesterday evening, an NUH spokesman told TNP.

Property records list the flat owners as Mr Heryanto Tjandra and Ms Christine Santoso.

When TNP went to the flat yesterday afternoon, the boy's grandmother and a family friend were packing some things to take to the hospital.

When asked about the boy's condition, she declined to comment and shut the door.

They left about 10 minutes later and got into a waiting grey Lexus.

Grilles could be seen on the unit's kitchen windows, where the boy is said to have fallen from.

A neighbour, Mr Tan Eng Hong, 55, said the family has been living there for about 2½ years. "They usually keep to themselves and hardly talk to anyone," said the odd job worker.

The police said they are investigating the incident.

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