Big fight erupts after woman falls to death at Toa Payoh
Even as a tragedy was unfolding at the bottom of a Toa Payoh block following a suspected suicide, a huge fracas unfolded after a dozen men and women let loose a flurry of blows on an unidentified man in the presence of police officers.
The New Paper was alerted to the fall at Toa Payoh Lorong 6 at around 11.45pm yesterday and arrived at the scene 15 minutes later.
There, a witness who lived on the third storey of Block 68 said that he heard someone shouting: "Mama, mama" in Mandarin.
"All of a sudden there was a scream and a loud thud," said the elderly man, who declined to be named.
"Then I heard a lot of people screaming and shouting outside," he added.
At the foot of the block, a blue tent covered the spot where the deceased - believed to be a woman in her 50s - was lying.
Already at the scene was a Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) ambulance and two police cars.
A group of men was also seen speaking to police officers.
One of them was overheard saying in Hokkien: "My mother is lying there dead, why can't I see her?"
Moments later, a man got out of a taxi and tried to barge through the police cordon, insisting on seeing the body.
When officers tried to speak to him, the unidentified man shouted: "Why can't I see her? She's my sister!"
But as officers were dealing with this, a fight broke out near the lift landing of the block when a group of men and women began attacking a young man, believed to be a family member of the dead woman.
Why this fight broke out remains unclear.
A man, who was wearing a red T-shirt, was their target.
His attackers stomped and kicked him while the police officers tried to separate them.
It remains unclear if anybody was injured in the free-for-all.
Police officers eventually managed to break up the fight after 10 minutes.
At press time, one man was seen being handcuffed by the police and taken away.
A witness, who only wanted to be known as Mr Tan, said he was sitting on the seats at the bottom of the block enjoying the night breeze when he saw a woman stand on the ledge on the 12th storey.
"I was shocked when I saw her there," he said.
The man, who is in his late 40s, added: "I tried to shout to her, 'Don't jump, don't do it'. Our neighbours who were outside in the corridors screamed for her not to jump too."
Their pleas fell on deaf ears.
"Despite us saying don't jump, she leapt to her death anyway," said Mr Tan.
"She was a nice woman, but I believe she had problems with her family," he added.