Dangling maid rescued from 5th-storey ledge
Tenant holds on to maid trying to get back inside flat by using 5th storey ledge
When she got hold of the arms of a maid from Myanmar dangling from the fifth storey of a Housing Board block in Bukit Panjang, Jane was certain she was not going to let go.
The 24-year-old maid had locked herself by mistake in a room in a fifth-storey flat on Wednesday at about 8am and was trying to get back inside by using the ledge.
Wanting to be identified only as Jane, the secretary, 35, who rents a room in the unit, was alerted of the maid's predicament by a neighbour.
Jane held the dangling maid for about 20 seconds before the police and a neighbour helped pull her over the railing.
The rescue took about a minute, but Jane said: "The image of the maid crying as I held on to her, I cannot forget that. It is scary for her, but it is also traumatising for me."
The incident was captured on video by Madam Anita Sahari, 50, who was in her kitchen preparing lunch when she saw the maid.
In the viral video, the barefooted maid is seen walking the length of the ledge while holding onto the wall and window grilles for support, and approaches Jane at the corridor.
Jane was alerted to the drama by a neighbour banging away on the front door. The neighbour yelled, "your maid is on the ledge", she said.
"That was when I looked up and saw a hand outside the window," she added.
She rushed to the window and tried to open the grilles but they were locked.
Jane, who had been renting the room for about five months, said: "She cannot really speak English, so I was trying to signal to her to stop moving.
"I normally leave home before 8am for work, so perhaps it was fate that I woke up late that day."
The Singapore Civil Defence Force said no one was taken to hospital.
The maid's employer, who wanted to be known only as Mr Raj, 54, an army regular, told The Straits Times that he received a call after the incident while on the way to work.
The maid had been with the family for about a month but had worked for another employer for about seven months before that, he said.
Mr Raj said the maid has poor English and normally converses with the family in Tamil.
He sent her back to the agency yesterday morning and he was told she returned to Myanmar the same day.
He said the doorknob of the room the maid was locked in had been faulty for a while."I have reminded her about it before," he said.