Woman on Yishun block parapet rescued after 2-hour stand-off

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For more than two hours yesterday, a woman was on and off a parapet high up in a Housing Board block, sometimes standing on it or sitting on it, holding on to a pipe with one hand while holding a knife in the other.

The 45-year-old woman - clearly agitated and occasionally cutting herself with the knife, according to witnesses - was threatening to harm herself from the edge of a stairwell between the 11th and 12th storeys at Block 289, Yishun Avenue 6.

A little after 4.35pm, in the pouring rain, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers and the police successfully managed to pull her to safety in a dramatic rescue operation.

She was whisked away in an ambulance to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, and police officers were seen at the foot of the block talking to two girls believed to be her daughters.

Earlier in the afternoon, some residents from Block 283, which faces Block 289, were stunned to see the woman on the ledge.

Mr Saiful Bahri, a senior technician, said she seemed to be in much distress and was "not of clear mind".

"She was cutting herself and her dress. After the SCDF arrived, she shouted for them to remove the safety mattress so she could jump," the 30-year-old told The New Paper.

The SCDF arrived at the scene at 2.35pm and soon, a life pack was set up at the foot of the block to cushion any fall.

It is believed that a team of negotiators from the police and the woman's sister started to talk to her and try to persuade her to come in to safety.

With SCDF officers on the roof of the block, the 12th storey directly above the woman and the storey below, a net was dropped, blocking any attempt to jump down to the ground.

The officers then managed to pull the woman in after she was momentarily distracted.

Mr Saiful, who was among the residents watching the dramatic scenes from adjacent blocks, said: "Even after she was pulled to safety, the woman threatened the officers with the knife."

When TNP approached the sister, the visibly shaken woman declined comment. Residents in the area, including those of Block 289, said they were not familiar with the woman or her daughters. One resident, who wanted to be known only as Ms Christine, said: "I have never seen her (before). She is probably not from this block or floor."