Doctor falls four storeys into hostel lift shaft

SINGAPORE - Mistaking the door of an unlocked lift shaft for that of an adjacent toilet, a 29-year-old Filipino doctor plunged four storeys, suffering fractured ribs and broken bones in her left foot.

Dr Hannah Tan (above), who was in Singapore with family members for a conference, was staying at B88 Hostel in Jalan Besar when the incident happened in the wee hours of last Thursday morning, reported The New Paper.

Her room was located on the hostel's fifth floor and she was headed for the toilet at about 2am when she instead opened the door to the lift, the paper said.

She fell and landed on top of the lift, which was used to move luggage and goods. The lift had remained on the first storey.

She was left alone in the darkness for four hours before her mother, Madam Nerissa Tan, 59, discerned her faint cries for help, the paper reported.

Dr Tan's sister's boyfriend Ivon Talaban, 25, then reportedly entered the shaft from the lift door on the third floor.

He climbed down to the second storey, kicked the lift door open after several tries and along with another family member, managed to carry Dr Tan out to the lift landing.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said they received a call for assistance at 6.33 am, adding that Dr Tan was brought to Tan Tock Seng Hospital while still conscious.

Her family members said she also suffered head, mouth and feet lacerations. A tube was inserted into her lungs to help her breathe normally. A hospital spokesman said on Monday that she remains warded in stable condition.

The hostel's operations manager said in the report that the shaft was a goods hoist not meant for guests and had a "no entry" sign on its door.

The manager also said the hostel was working with authorities to investigate why the door to the hoist was unlocked at the time. Police said they were looking into the matter.

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