She was taking her toddler son to her husband who was waiting at the carpark below their Tampines flat.
As the pair was walking along the block's sheltered walkway, they heard a sudden loud crashing sound behind them.
"It was less than two metres away and we were shocked by it," said the woman, 35, who wanted to be known only as Madam He.
She did not stop to see what had caused the sound, but returned to the spot after leaving her four-year-old son with her husband, who would take him to kindergarten.
What she saw on the ground at the walkway shocked her.
"It was an old, rusty axe that had shattered a part of the walkway roof when it fell. If we had walked any slower, my son could have lost his life."
The incident happened on Monday at about 9am at the walkway at Block 276, Tampines Street 22, reported Shin Min Daily News.
Madam He told The New Paper that the axe had probably fallen from the rooftop of the 10-storey block, where repair works are being done.
"I'm quite sure it fell from the roof as I could hear banging and dragging sounds coming from the area before I left the house that morning," said Madam He, who declined to reveal which storey her flat is on.
She waited at the walkway to identify the owner of the axe and confronted a construction worker who turned up about five minutes later.
She said: "He looked frantic and insisted that he wasn't the one who threw the axe, even though he came down to collect it."
She went home to get her mobile phone and took a picture of the shattered roof.
By then, the worker and the axe were both gone.
Residents in the area told TNP yesterday that the incident has made them more cautious.
"This is why I try to walk in the void decks whenever I can. It's better to be safe than sorry," said Mr Lim Kim Chay, 60, a taxi driver.
Another resident, Mr Albert Liang, 41, said: "I thought it would be safe because it is a sheltered walkway, but it turns out people can still get hurt from killer litter while sheltered."
Madam He said that more should be done to ensure that such incidents do not happen again.
She said: "Construction companies and their workers should be more careful when they work. Safety issues like these should not be the responsibility of the residents."
When contacted by TNP, Solely Construction, the company in charge of roof repair works in the area, declined comment.
This article was first published on January 8, 2015.
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