Man whose arm was stuck in pipe rescued after more than 12 hours

Man whose arm was stuck in pipe rescued after more than 12 hours
Neighbours heard the man, who they say lives alone, calling out at around 2am on Sunday but could not decipher what he was saying. The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) only got a call alerting them to the incident later that day at around noon.

SINGAPORE - A man in his 80s was rescued in an intricate three-hour long operation after his arm got stuck in a drainage pipe in his toilet.

In a statement to the media, SCDF said that they were alerted to the case at about noon today. A fire engine, Red Rhino, ambulance and two support vehicles were dispatched to the scene at Bedok North.

Upon arrival, fire fighters found that the man's left hand was stuck up till "above the elbow level" inside the toilet drainage pipe. SCDF's Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) and a medical team from Changi General Hospital (CGH) were activated.

As the hand was stuck quite deep inside, SCDF said that they had to resort to accessing the pipe from the seventh-floor unit directly below the man's flat to release his hand. SCDF fire fighters, together with DART rescuers, used cutting and breaking equipment to cut and pry open the pipe from the unit below and cut the concrete ceiling surrounding the pipe.

"The intricate rescue operation had to be conducted cautiously by creating space around the pipe, so that the hand could be released without aggravating the condition of the casualty," SCDF said.

The ambulance crew and the CGH medical team remained on the eighth floor throughout the rescue operation to render medical assistance to the man.

The medical team administered IV to stablilise his condition and also gave him some pain killers to alleviate his pain. His heart rate and blood pressure were monitored and the team communicated reassurance to the man while the operation was going on, SCDF said.

The whole rescue operation took about three hours.

The man was sent to CGH in a "conscious but drowsy condition," SCDF said.

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