Singapore—A young girl was seen sitting on the ledge of a multi-story carpark at Toa Payoh shortly past 8:30 on the evening of August 31, Saturday. She was weeping and had her legs over the ledge. Shortly afterward, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) arrived on the scene and were able to pull her to safety.
The girl, who has remained anonymous in news reports, was sent to the hospital and then arrested after her rescue.
The incident took place near the office of Singapore Press Holdings, where Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao has its offices. A reporter from Lianhe Wanbao, upon hearing of the incident, went to Toa Payoh Lorong 1, Blk 110A.
There, a 17-year-old girl wearing a white baseball cap on her head was seen sitting on top of the ledge of the carpark, with her legs hanging outside the ledge. She was reported to be weeping and looking down.
Neighbours had heard of the young girl’s precarious position and gathered nearby. One 62-year-old man, identified in Wanbao as Mr Liu, told the news outfit that he has seen the girl ascending to the carpark an hour before, when he had been going down after parking his car.
He told Wanbao,“She seemed lethargic, and was going up the stairs slowly while dragging her feet.”
However, since this did not seem to be anything out of the ordinary, Mr Liu went on his way.
As the girl continued to sit on the ledge, the SCDF was called in. Photos from the incident show that she was surrounded by officers from the SCDF, who were there to bring her to safety. Some reportedly engaged her in conversation to talk her into coming down from the ledge, and one officer showed her something from a mobile phone several times.
In the meantime, other officers had set up an inflatable cushion at the base of the building, on the chance that the distraught young girl should decide to jump from the ledge.
Lianhe Wanbao said that at one point she was surrounded by 10 SCDF officers.
At a point when the girl was sufficiently distracted, the officers succeeded in pulling her off the ledge and into safety. By this time, she had been sitting on the ledge in a dangerous position for about thirty minutes.
After pulling her down, the police took the distraught young girl to Tan Tock Seng Hospital in a conscious state, after which she was arrested.
Her case is at present being investigated by the police.
Suicide is deemed to be a serious issue in Singapore, with rates increasing in all demographic groups over the past years. For individuals between the ages of 10 and 19, suicide is the leading cause of death.
If you or someone you know is in danger of immediate harm, call 24-hour emergency medical services at 995 or approach your nearest A&E. The Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) have a 24-hour hotline that can be reached at 1800-221-4444. There is also SAF hotline for servicemen at 1800 278 0022. There are also several counseling hotlines: Youth Line: 6336 3434, Touch Line 1800 377 2252, and for very young children, Tinkle Friend 1800 2744 4788. -/TISG