Man keeps calm despite trapping his arm in printing press

The printing machine in which the man's hand was trapped.

She heard a scream while at work in her printing company on Tuesday morning.

Ms Lee's (not her full name) male colleague's hand was stuck in a large industrial-grade printing machine.

The sight made her fear the worst.

But miraculously, even though the 64-year-old man's hand was trapped by the printer's rollers, it did not have to be amputated. The accident happened on Tuesday around 11.30am at printing company Citi Print & Design at Ubi Techpark.

The man had been adding lubricant to the machine while it was running when his right hand and forearm got trapped between the rollers of the machine.

Ms Lee, who has been working at the company for five years, called another colleague for help when she heard the scream. She said: "I've never seen anything like this in all my years of working here."

Her colleagues switched off the machine and tried to free the man.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said they were alerted to the incident at 11.30am and sent a fire engine, a Red Rhino, two fire bikes, one ambulance and two support vehicles to the scene.

Major Lok Wee Keong, commander of the Paya Lebar Fire Station, led the rescue.

He told The New Paper they found the victim standing with his right arm trapped. He said the man looked calm.

STABLE

"By the time I arrived, the paramedics had given him an oxygen mask and told me that his vital signs were stable," he said.

Maj Lok said technicians there used tools like a spanner and screwdriver to help the man before the SCDF arrived.

"My team and I dismantled the side cover of the machine, exposing the chains.

"We also cut a series of beams, bars and supporting rollers to free his hand," he said.

He said he could see about eight to 10 rollers of different sizes amid grease and dirt.

The rescue was completed within 20 minutes.

The man was placed on a stretcher and taken to Changi General Hospital.

A hospital spokesman said he was discharged yesterday afternoon.

He is able to use his hand.

TNP visited the printing company on Tuesday and yesterday, but the company's boss was not available and the employees declined to comment.

But one said the company has been around for more than 20 years.

OTHER CASES

DEC 2013

A 14-year-old secondary school student was helping out at her father's Toa Payoh Lorong 8 drinks stall when her hand slipped into the sugar cane extractor.

Three of her fingers were crushed and the skin on her wrist was torn off.

OCT 2013

A 27-year-old worker at a fishball factory in Woodlands Loop was grinding fish when his hand got stuck in the machine. A part of his left arm had to be amputated.

NOV 2012

A man was stepping down from a raised platform to the floor when he slipped and fell backwards.

The worker at a printing and packaging company at Joo Koon then grabbed a metal bar in front of a press machine but it got caught between the rollers.

His left arm was crushed and had to be amputated near the shoulder.

OCT 2009

A man was cleaning a sugar cane juicer at Tekka Market and Food Centre when his hand was caught in the rollers as the machine continued grinding away.

Surgeons managed to reattach his thumb and fingers in an emergency operation but could not save his ring finger.

jadeteo@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on April 23, 2015.
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