While working at home on an assignment, he heard sirens blaring below his flat.
From his kitchen window, polytechnic student Alvin Lee, 22, could see police and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) vehicles.
Firemen were preparing to extend a ladder on a fire engine.
Looking at where the ladder was pointed, he got a shock.
He said: "I realised the firemen were trying to rescue people from a floodlight at Delta Sports Complex, just opposite my flat."
Using his mobile phone, Mr Lee snapped a photo of the 10-storey-high floodlight, some 30m away, before going downstairs to take a closer look.
A crowd of people, mainly construction workers who were involved in the estate's lift upgrading works, had gathered at the scene.
Mr Lee looked up at the floodlight and saw two men on a gondola.
He said: "The gondola was tilting to one side, and the men were holding onto the rails."
Realising that no reporters were at the scene yet while the incident was unfolding, Mr Lee quickly called The New Paper hotline.
"I thought this was going to be quite a big story that needed to be covered, and since I had the hotline number saved, I instinctively dialled it."
Two Bangladeshi workers were trapped on the gondola while performing maintenance work on the floodlight at Delta Sports Complex in Tiong Bahru last Wednesday.
STUCK EIGHT STOREYS HIGH
They found out that the gondola could not be lowered at 11.30am, and were stuck eight storeys high in the 30 deg C heat.
The SCDF arrived around 1.40pm and tried to rescue the workers with a combined platform ladder. But there was a glitch, and the ladder could not be lowered after the workers had got onto it.
The SCDF officers then told the workers to climb down the ladder.
They reached the ground safely at 3.30pm, four hours after they got stuck on the gondola.
Mr Lee said he was pleased with TNP's report the next day.
"It was accurate and included a lot of facts. I felt that it told the story to readers very well."
For his story, Mr Lee will receive $100 in Burger King vouchers.
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