Even the neighbours heard it shatter
Bathroom glass door breaks as girls were getting ready for bed
She was in the kitchen when she heard what sounded like an explosion coming from the master bedroom toilet.
Mrs Jacquelyn Tan, 34, ran in and saw glass pieces strewn all over the floor, her two daughters and her maid.
All three were frozen with fear and blood was running down their arms.
A floor-to-ceiling glass panel, about half a metre wide and 1cm thick, had shattered without any warning.
This happened on April 6 at about 10pm.
Mrs Tan's four-year-old, Lane, was being bathed by their domestic helper while eight-year-old Lace was about to brush her teeth.
The shattered panel had been installed just 11 months ago in Mrs Tan's Bukit Purmei flat.
It was one of four panels that made up the shower partition.
The sound of the glass shattering was so loud that even Mrs Tan's neighbours heard it.
"I thought my entire wardrobe had fallen over," said Mrs Tan.
Her husband immediately grabbed Lane, who was the most badly injured, dressed her and rushed to the hospital.
"There was so much blood flowing from her head," said Mrs Tan, "It went down to her ears and was dripping all over the floor."
GIRLS HAVE PHOBIA
Lane suffered a cut to her head, which required four stitches, and she was hospitalised for a night.
She also had numerous cuts on her arms, hands and legs.
Mrs Tan said the nurse had to use a magnifying glass to remove the glass pieces, especially the fragments on her scalp.
Lace and their maid also suffered small cuts all over their bodies.
Mrs Tan's father called their contractor and the workers went to clear the broken glass in the morning.
They offered to replace the glass panel, but the Tans declined.
Instead, they asked the contractor to remove all the glass panels in her home.
"Both my kids are now terrified of glass. The younger one doesn't even dare to step into the toilet," said Mrs Tan.
They initially had their doubts about installing glass panels in the home, but the contractor assured them that tempered glass was safe.
"He told me that if the glass broke so easily, no one would install them," she said.
When Mrs Tan called the glass supplier on April 11, she was given an explanation as to what might have caused the panel to shatter.
The supplier said there had been previous cases of spontaneous breakage.
They listed a few possible causes, such as internal defects in the glass, the temperature of the water from the shower as well as minor damage during installation.
But they could not determine the actual cause.
Mr Tan said they should have been warned about the risk of spontaneous breakage before the glass was put in.
He had initially thought of seeking compensation, but he realised it was a hassle and that it was difficult to hold any one party responsible.
"I just want to move on and hopefully make others aware that such things can happen," he said.
Both my kids are now terrified of glass. The younger one doesn't even dare to step into the toilet.
- Mrs Jacquelyn Tan
TIPS ON TEMPERED GLASS
While tempered glass is much stronger than regular glass, this does not mean it cannot break.
Impact to the edges of tempered glass panels, their weakest points, can cause it to shatter.
Impurities in raw glass can also cause tempered glass to shatter spontaneously.
Mr Gan Geok Chua, a director at glass manufacturer Singapore Safety Glass, said that all types of glass can break spontaneously, but it is more dramatic in the case of tempered glass.
While typical glass tends to splinter into large shards, tempered glass breaks into small pieces when shattered, which may cause more serious injuries.
His advice: Understand how to use tempered glass.
He said to be careful when opening or closing glass doors and to avoid hanging heavy objects on the edges.
Mr Gan also recommended buying glass from reputable sources and engaging a more experienced glazier to install the glass.