SINGAPORE - When workers went to fix a damaged manhole in Clementi West on Monday, they detected a stench coming from below.
When they checked the sewer, they made a shocking discovery - the decomposing body of a man covered in grime and blood.
It is not clear how long the body had been in there, but The New Paper understands no foul play is suspected.
It is a mystery how the victim ended up falling through the manhole into the sewer.
Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao speculated that he could have fallen from a height and landed right in the manhole near Block 724, Clementi West Street 2. The evening daily described the victim as a 61-year-old Bukit Panjang resident whose name is believed to be Mr Lee Ming Quan.
It reported that some of the man's Bukit Panjang neighbours said they had not seen him for years.
Workers arrived at the scene at 2.15pm on Monday to repair the manhole which was covered by a wooden plank, reported Wanbao.
It is understood that the cover had shattered and pieces were lying on the ground near the manhole.
A Bangladeshi worker removed the wooden plank and went down into the sewer and discovered the body.
He told Wanbao that he was shocked by the grisly find and immediately climbed out so that he could inform his foreman.
A police spokesman told TNP that they received a call for assistance around 3pm on Monday.
When they arrived at the scene, they found the body in the sewer.
A Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) spokesman said it took five officers to remove the body from the sewer. Two went into the sewer to secure ropes to the body before it was carefully hoisted out.
SLIPPERS & DENTURES
Wanbao said the bloated body was covered in sludge from the sewer. A pair of slippers and dentures were found near the manhole.
The police cordoned off the area for about five hours to carry out investigations.
A man in his 20s and a woman in her 30s, believed to be Mr Lee's family members, arrived at the scene around 6pm on Monday, but they declined to speak to reporters. After about 30 minutes, they were ushered into a police vehicle and driven away, Wanbao reported.
When TNP visited the scene yesterday, the manhole had been sealed up with a new metal cover.
TNP spoke to 10 residents, cleaners and stall assistants at a nearby coffee shop. None of them had heard or seen a man fall from height recently.
A man in his 60s, who declined to be named, was sceptical that the victim could have fallen from a height and landed directly inside the manhole, leaving no trace outside. He said: "The manhole is not very big (about 40cm by 30cm). How could he have landed exactly inside the manhole if he had jumped from the block?"