A four-year-old boy is fighting for his life in hospital after falling five storeys from an HDB block yesterday.
The New Paper understands that the family's maid had left little Afiq sleeping at home alone when she went to fetch his brother from school.
A source who was aware of what happened said that Afiq is believed to have woken up and gone to the kitchen window of the four-room flat in Block 437, Jurong West Avenue 1.
He is believed to have climbed up to the window and then fallen out. It is not known whether the window had been left open when the maid went out.
The police received a call at about 12.20pm asking for assistance for a boy who was believed to have suffered an accidental fall.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force was informed at the same time and an ambulance was dispatched to the scene.
Afiq was taken to the National University Hospital and was still in the intensive care unit when The New Paper team visited last evening.
The source told TNP that Afiq underwent surgery to treat a head injury he suffered from the fall and that he was fighting for his life as his condition was still critical.
When approached, family members declined to comment, except to confirm Afiq's name.
The maid is understood to have been taken to the police station to help in investigations.
Madam Toh Geok Lan, 67, who runs a convenience store in the void deck of the block, said she found Afiq lying motionless near the rubbish chute directly under the kitchen windows of the flat.
She said in Mandarin: "I was sitting outside my store when a resident told me that she saw a boy sleeping near the rubbish chute behind my store.
"I told her to 'let the boy sleep, don't disturb him'.
"Shortly after, another passer-by came up to me and said that a boy was lying motionless at the foot of the block. That was when I decided to go and take a look.
"I rushed to the rubbish chute and was so shocked to see that the boy's head was swollen.
"It took me a while to recognise that he was the cute little boy who would greet me every day when he walks past my store."
Madam Toh said that she shook Afiq hard as she called out to him: "Adik! Adik! (younger brother in Malay)"
"His eyes remained closed and he did not respond to me," she said.
Madam Toh said that she then saw the maid returning home with the older boy. The maid was shocked to see the younger brother lying there.
"She kept crying and screaming as she called out to the little one. By then, many people had gathered around the scene.
"The maid was so distraught at the sight of the little boy and did not know what to do. She then picked him up and ran towards the lift lobby."
Madam Toh said that some passers-by called the police and others helped the maid carry the boy. She said she urged the maid to inform her employer about the accident.
A relative showed up soon after and accompanied the boy to the hospital in the ambulance, said Madam Toh.
The maid and the older brother remained behind.
Madam Toh added: "The boy is very cute and very good-looking. Every time he walks past my store, he would call me 'auntie, auntie!' and flash me a sweet smile.
"He usually goes with the maid to pick up his brother from school. If only he had gone with the maid yesterday..."
|Boy, 4, dies after 5-storey fall from Jurong West home
Click on thumbnail to view (Screenshot/Photos: ST, TNP)
This article was first published in The New Paper.