Clementi mystery: How did victim end up in hole of death?
When workers went to fix a damaged manhole in Clementi West on Monday, they detected a stench coming from below.
When they checked the sewer, they made a shocking discovery - the decomposing body of a man covered in grime and blood.
It is not clear how long the body had been in there, but The New Paper understands no foul play is suspected.
It is a mystery how the victim ended up falling through the manhole into the sewer.
Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao speculated that he could have fallen from a height and landed right in the manhole near Block 724, Clementi West Street 2.
The evening daily described the victim as a 61-year-old Bukit Panjang resident whose name is believed to be Mr Lee Ming Quan.
It reported that some of the man's Bukit Panjang neighbours said they had not seen him for years.
Workers arrived at the scene at 2.15pm on Monday to repair the manhole which was covered by a wooden plank, reported Wanbao.
It is understood that the cover had shattered and pieces were lying on the ground near the manhole.
A Bangladeshi worker removed the wooden plank and went down into the sewer and discovered the body.
He told Wanbao that he was shocked by the grisly find and immediately climbed out so that he could inform his foreman.
A police spokesman told TNP that they received a call for assistance around 3pm on Monday.
When they arrived at the scene, they found the body in the sewer.
A Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) spokesman said it took five officers to remove the body from the sewer. Two went into the sewer to secure ropes to the body before it was carefully hoisted out.
SLIPPERS & DENTURES
Wanbao said the bloated body was covered in sludge from the sewer. A pair of slippers and dentures were found near the manhole.
The police cordoned off the area for about five hours to carry out investigations.
A man in his 20s and a woman in her 30s, believed to be Mr Lee's family members, arrived at the scene around 6pm on Monday, but they declined to speak to reporters.
After about 30 minutes, they were ushered into a police vehicle and driven away, Wanbao reported.
When TNP visited the scene yesterday, the manhole had been sealed up with a new metal cover.
TNP spoke to 10 residents, cleaners and stall assistants at a nearby coffee shop. None of them had heard or seen a man fall from height recently.
A man in his 60s, who declined to be named, was sceptical that the victim could have fallen from a height and landed directly inside the manhole, leaving no trace outside.
He said: "The manhole is not very big (about 40cm by 30cm). How could he have landed exactly inside the manhole if he had jumped from the block?"
Another resident, who wanted to be known as Madam Yeo, 60, said the manhole had been left open with warning signs and barricades around it for about a week.
She said she had passed by the open manhole around 5pm on Sunday and had noticed the foul smell.
"But I was rushing to work then and I did not stop to find out where the smell was coming from. I just covered my nose and hurried past it," she said.
A cleaner who wanted to be known as Mr Jamal, 38, said some of his colleagues had peeked into the gaping manhole on Sunday.
"But they could not see anything because the water level was high after the rain," he said.
None of the people TNP spoke to knew the dead man.
They said they were not too worried about the incident.
A man in his 40s said: "The manhole is now covered. We just have to be more careful about these things."
A woman fell to her death during a Central Narcotics Bureau raid on her friend's eighth-storey flat in Chai Chee in January.
Madam Ng Ah Toh, 45, a newspaper vendor, was found near a rubbish chute at the rear of Block 30, Chai Chee Avenue.
According to the coroner's inquiry, a police officer had reached the fourth storey of the block when he heard a loud noise from the ground.
He then saw several passers-by crowding round Madam Ng, who was lying motionless face up with her buttocks stuck in a manhole.
She died from multiple injuries. Her blood was found to contain amphetamine and methamphetamine, both controlled drugs.
An Indonesian maid fell to her death from the 16th storey of a Jurong West block in March.
The 21-year-old maid died instantly when her head smashed through a metal manhole cover, fracturing her skull.
Her body, clad in pink pyjamas, was found by passers-by at about 5am. Her legs were sticking out of the manhole, with pieces of the metal cover scattered about.
She is believed to have been hanging clothes to dry when she fell out of the open kitchen window of her employers' flat.