A 'hole' lot of problems

An old man had his arm stuck in a drainpipe.

SINGAPORE - There's a gaping hole in her ceiling, right where the common bathroom is.

And that's because her upstairs neighbour got his left arm stuck in the drainpipe and rescuers had to destroy the ceiling in her seventh-storey flat to free him.

But Madam Phoon Choy Chun isn't angry. In fact, she feels bad for her neighbour, Mr Mohd Ani Mohd, 82.

"I feel sorry for the man upstairs after what happened to him. He is already in his 80s.

"I hope he gets better soon,"said Madam Phoon, 72, who lives with a tenant.

Mr Mohd Ani's harrowing time started in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

The widower dropped something in the drainpipe in the common bathroom of his three-room flat at Bedok North and used his arm to fish it out.

But his arm was stuck and it wasn't until 11am that his son found him.

To free him, Singapore Civil Defence Force rescuers had to hack his bathroom floor around the drainpipe. They also hacked the ceiling in Madam Phoon's common toilet. It took three hours to free him.

Madam Phoon told The New Paper she now has to put up with the hole in the ceiling.

Because of this, she and her tenant now use the en-suite bathroom in her master bedroom. She is now concerned about the repair works.

"People from the town council came just now and said that they would repair the hole. But I'm not sure if I have to pay for the repair," said Madam Phoon.

STABLE CONDITION

Still, she remained concerned for her neighbour.

"I hope he gets better soon,"said Madam Phoon in Mandarin.

Mr Mohd Ani was still sedated yesterday afternoon, but his son said that he was in a stable condition. He is recovering in Changi General Hospital after his 13-hour ordeal.

Speaking to TNP from his father's flat yesterday, Mr Othman Mohd Ani , who is in his 50s, said: "I (still) don't know what my father was trying to retrieve from the drain pipe."

Mr Mohd Ani has been living alone since his wife died two years ago.

Mr Othman added in Malay that his father has more than 10 grandchildren and is well-loved by his family members.

"My father prefers to live alone and doesn't want to live with any of his five children. But the flat is always bustling with activity on occasions like Hari Raya.

"After this episode, my siblings and I will have to sit down and decide what's best for him," he said.


This article was first published on June 10, 2014.
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