Police officers who saved a 24-year-old Burmese maid from falling from a residential building said they had no other option but to hold the domestic worker’s hands tight when she looked set to plunge from the fifth-floor ledge to the ground.
On December 6, the 24-year-old domestic worker was spotted walking on the ledge of a public-housing block in Bukit Panjang in Singapore at about 8am.
The maid was reported to have accidentally locked herself in a room in her employer’s apartment and had gotten into a precarious position by trying to escape. She ended up being saved by a neighbor and four police officers.
Staff Sergeant Stanley Koh, 28, said he noticed the domestic worker’s hands at the railing so he became the first police officer to rush forward to grab them, he was quoted as saying in a report in The Straits Times. He and a neighbor tried to pull the maid over the railing but they were unable to do so till more help arrived.
Koh said he and the neighbor realized that they could not pull the woman up, but fortunately, three other officers arrived within 15 seconds.
The pair, together with Sergeant Prem Rengasamy, 28, Staff Sergeant Chan Wai Hong, 27, and Special Constable Corporal Rajdave Singh, 19, successfully pulled the domestic worker back to the corridor from outside.
Singh, who joined the police force only six weeks earlier, said he did not expect to save a woman from falling from a building.
Rengasamy said he had a rush of adrenaline and no other thought but to rescue the domestic worker. He said they had no alternative, as their only thought was to save the woman.
Chan said the police had responded to similar incidents in the past, and on this occasion, time was important.
Jane, the neighbor, 35, was the first person to grab onto the domestic worker’s hands before the police arrived. She said she was traumatized by the one-minute drama.