Sharp drain grates slice through woman’s knee after she trips; is LTA, SLA or town council responsible?

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A Singapore woman has questioned which government agency is responsible for the design flaw at the drains at Paya Lebar after the sharp metal bars on the drain slice through her knee after she tripped and fell at the junction of Paya Lebar Road junction, in front of electrical shop Best Tech Group of Companies.

The woman, Facebook user Dot Little, had crossed the road at the junction at 2.30pm on 12 March when she slipped on the metal drain cover and landed on her knees on the ground. Little was shocked to find that metal bars of the drain cover had been so sharp that it sliced through her flesh:

“I just finished lunch with my colleague at City plaza , we crossed the traffic light at Paya lebar Road junction , right in front of Best Tech Group of Companies a shop that sells lightings and Aircon. There were a long stretch of metal covering by the roadside.
“I felt myself slipping as on the metal covering, fell and landed on my knees supported by my palms
“As I lift my knees off the metal covering , I realized the metal bars were sharp and they sliced thru my knee cap , as I tried to cup my knee I realized I was holding my my own raw loose flesh , blood was spouting from it and drenched my white sneakers”

Little wrote online that she was grateful for the passers-by who immediately offered their help. One gentleman helped to keep her knee upright in an attempt to stop the blood flow and another lady cradled Little’s head and consoled her that help is on the way.

The injured woman eventually ended up in Raffles Hospital and found that her wound required 20 stitches. She questioned which government agency is responsible for such a poor drain design:

“I ended up in Raffles Hospital with 20 stitches on my knee . My question is which government board is responsible for such a bad design flaw ? Is it Land Transport Authority or Singapore Land Authority ? Town council ? Which town council does Paya Lebar Road comes under ? They need to look into the metal covering and make sure this unfortunate incident does not happen again.”

Read her full post here:

12/3/18. 230 pm . I just finished lunch with my colleague at City plaza , we crossed the traffic light at Paya lebar…

Posted by Dot Little on Monday, 12 March 2018

“I just finished lunch with my colleague at City plaza , we crossed the traffic light at Paya lebar Road junction , right in front of Best Tech Group of Companies a shop that sells lightings and Aircon. There were a long stretch of metal covering by the roadside.

“I felt myself slipping as on the metal covering, fell and landed on my knees supported by my palms

“As I lift my knees off the metal covering , I realized the metal bars were sharp and they sliced thru my knee cap , as I tried to cup my knee I realized I was holding my my own raw loose flesh , blood was spouting from it and drenched my white sneakers 

“A few passers stop to help , all dishing out tissues and help me hold my knee up as my colleague, Jessie frantically called for ambulance . I particularly wish to say thank u to the gentleman who patiently hold my knee up to stop my blood sprouting like a piston, a kind lady who cradle my head in her arms consoling me that all will be well and ambulance is on the way. I was in such a panic state I did not even say thank u to these wonderful people .
Jessie ran into the lighting shop , Best tech to ask to borrow a chair , the boss of the shop told her “ no chair here “ , she explain to them somebody has a bad fall and bleeding badly and needed a chair to sit and wait for ambulance, the answer was still “ no chair here “. I wish the “ group of companies “ will have some kindness and social responsibility.. what does it cost u to lend a chair ??!! 

“I ended up in Raffles Hospital with 20 stitches on my knee . My question is which government board is responsible for such a bad design flaw ? Is it Land Transport Authority or Singapore Land Authority ? Town council ? Which town council does Paya Lebar Road comes under ? They need to look into the metal covering and make sure this unfortunate incident does not happen again. If u are a friend , I ask that u share this post to reach out to the correct government body to look into this matter . I also sincerely hope this post could reach to the kind gentleman and the lady who has greatly help me in my time of distress”

47 COMMENTS

  1. Last year i fell into a small drain near where i work. It was night and it was dark. I saw the drain and tried to cross over it. My right foot went across. But my left foot somehow, i misstep and i fell with my left foot ending inside the drain. Hitting my left knee on the concrete. Had a deep cut to my left knee, other than that no serious injuries. I fell due to my carelessness. So should i blame NParks or lta or whoever?

    • I fully agree. Hope she make a speedy recovery, and thanks for her alert. All pedestrians please be careful of such dangers, especially when it is wet and slippery. I have issues with those yellow colour non slip pavement, that we see at many road crossing. It can be slippery, depending on the type of shoes/soles. If you are not sure, test the traction. Cheers

    • Mmmh. I think a lot of people here is focusing a little too much on who is to blame for this and how fall is unpredictable. I feel that people should also acknowledge the part where drain grates should not have been sharp to begin with.

      Like I mentioned in a separate post, we have an aging population which means high fall risk. We certainly cannot prevent falls, but people in charge of these drains can do their best to ensure (by checking on a regular basis for wear and tear or through QC) that the grates are not sharp enough to tear a piece of meat off you.

      No idea who is in-charge of the grates tbh, but whichever department or body it is, this is not a fault pointing game. But still, they should relook their process and prevent such incidents from recurring.

    • The intent of pages like this is to make controversial titles that can capture the attention of their readers so they can make money off ads. And nothing beats fanning the reader’s anger by studying current trends. The intense feeling of most netizens towards the government and foreign workers makes these pages try to link every single incident under the sun to these 2 main topics.

  2. Some of you may have missed the point. The injured lady’s intention is to alert the department responsible and members of the public of the danger posed at this place. Be careful and alert when you are there. One more accident is disastrous. Good sharing.

  3. Depends on the cause tbh. If it happens due to manufacturing and quality control issues (I.e. the grates are too sharp and whoever in charge didn’t check), then the in charge is at fault. If it due to wear and tear (resulting in jagged edges etc that causes the cut), then it is an unfortunate event and the relevant dept should replace it and conduct regular checks on the drain grates.

    I mean she did fall down herself.. but imagine, our country has got an aging population and the aged and little kids are prone to fall risk… I’ve fallen over many times when I was a kid. Would have hated it if I were to scrape a piece of me off just because I accidentally fell.

  4. These gratings are truly dangerous as they are not well made and have sharp edges all round. Sometimes they are not level and do not sit properly hence causing you to trip if you are not aware. Friend of mine actually fell through one rusted grating and ended up with lacerations on his leg and broke his arm during the fall into the drain.
    Bad gratings, popping tiles, bad trains, falling windows, what nxt. This G really needs to work for its million dollar paychecks!

  5. The exact location of her fall will determine the ownership of the liability. If it’s at the shopping centre precinct, then the shopping centre MC is responsible for providing a safe environment. They have a duty of care to provide a safe workplace for their employees and the public visiting the precinct. Sue them for negligence.

  6. It is immaterial as to how she fell , be it accidentally or she had tripped while walking on it . The metal bar should be designed to take the weight of any pedestrian walking on it . If the metal piece had collApsed or unable to cushion the fall the injured person can sue the department concerned for public liability If it is the drainage metal I am afraid public works department has to bear the brunt of the accountability . But prior to that you have to establish the fact as to when was it last checked ?? And then take issue with the design of it . Let me cite you a point to illustrate the case that if I were to trip over a pothole I am legally entitled to litigate my case . Likewise if I trip over a slippery floor with or without warning sign I have every right to pursue the case too . If in doubt do your due diligence to find out who should be liable for any mishap that occured without dismissing it too frivolously as unfortunate incident . And for those who have contrary opinion I just wonder aloud what would be your legal angle when you trip while taking the escalator ??

  7. Take for instance, if a PE teacher is making an obstacle course for his students, and is not there to ensure the safety of the obstacles, like make the balancing beam is too slippery or maybe a hurdle is sharp on the edges, if one of the student get injured due to this, is it the student’s fault or the teacher’s fault? Similarly, if the government wants to put drain covers ensure that they are not that sharp, that is 20 fking stitches, for small kids and elderly they could get very seriously injured. The problem now is people are so dumb they go victim blaming without even using their tiny ass pea brains cos singapore is fucked up teaching the wrong shit

  8. Everybody should be responsible for their own action including their clumsiness.

    When you fall, the force and pressure of the contact will definitely cause such wounds, especially its your own heavy weight lands on it…..everywhere is the same, not just the grills…..the drains, the potholes, escalators, …your own house small ramps between toilets/kitchen/rooms..

  9. Reminds me of this… a tree fell into reservoir…someone call to have the tree retrieve and discarded..after some days nothing done so he called again..hahaha. guess what?..PUB says yes its in the reservoir but not our problem cos tree belongs to N Parks. N Parks says yah BUT the tree is now in the reservoir..the reservoir don’t belong to N.Parks…hence the problem to clear is with PUB….Till today…HAHAHAHA. Wish the lady a speedy recovery…