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Zul Othman
Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014

Singapore

Garbage man who lost leg: All I could do was scream

The New Paper | Zul Othman | Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014

Mr Ravindren Cellapen with his wife Madam Rukumani Muniandy and their two young children. Mr Ravindren's left leg was crushed by the garbage truck he works out of in an accident on 1 November 2013.

It was a day before Deepavali, and Mr Ravindren Cellapen was looking forward to finishing work and returning home to celebrate with his family.

Instead, he ended up in hospital with his leg crushed by the garbage truck he works out of.

His left leg had to be amputated below the knee as a result of the accident in November last year.

In an interview at his home in Johor Baru - about 19km from the Woodlands Checkpoint - the 49-year-old Malaysian, a vehicle attendant for a garbage truck, told The New Paper in Malay: "I don't like to talk about the accident, but the truth is, I remember everything that happened that day."

On the morning of the accident, the father of five children - two daughters aged 20 and eight, and three boys aged 18, 17 and five - said he had just exited the vehicle when he slipped and fell.

But before he could get up on his feet, the driver reversed the 16-tonne garbage truck and crushed the former's left foot and ankle.

Said Mr Ravindren, who worked in Singapore for a year before the accident: "I was in terrible pain, and all I could do was scream.

"My colleague, who witnessed the accident, screamed at the driver and he ran over to help me. He knocked on the driver's side asking the driver to come down.

"The driver was shocked when he saw the tyre crushing my foot. He didn't know what to do, so I told him to reverse and to get the vehicle off me."

Somehow, Mr Ravindren knew his leg could not be saved.

'IT WAS LIFELESS'

"My leg looked like the neck of dead chicken, it was lifeless and somehow I knew it could not be saved," he said.

"When the ambulance came that day, I was very scared. I thought I was going to die because the pain was unbearable," Mr Ravindren added.

At the hospital, things took a turn for the worse.

According to a medical report, doctors immediately put him through a procedure called debridement or the removal of dead, damaged, or infected tissue to improve the healing potential of the remaining healthy tissue.

Mr Ravindren's left foot and ankle could not be saved, and he underwent an amputation below the knee six days after the accident.

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