Girl, 5, loses finger in ION Orchard hand dryer

The girl suffered an injury which left her with less than half of her original index finger.

Joshua Lee | December 10, 2021, 03:02 PM

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Think hand dryers are pretty benign? This incident might make you rethink that.

The father, who only wants to be known as Chia, posted a horrifying account of his daughter's encounter with a hand dryer at ION Orchard.

The incident happened on December 6, at about 9pm.

According to Chia, the vent of the hand dryer in question — where the fan blades were located — did not have a cover.

As a result, Chia said that his five-year-old daughter reached in and had her index finger "mangled" by the blades.


The father said that the bones in his daughter's finger were "reduced to nothing but little stones and dusty white powder":

"I was picking up little pieces of her bones and holding them in my hand hoping to bring them to the hospital in some sliver of hope that it may be salvageable. Again, an experience I wish no father on earth will ever go through."

The issue with the hand dryer

The hand dryers at ION Orchard are housed in metal casings like these, which possibly make it difficult for anyone to spot an exposed vent:


The image below is an example of what the concealed hand dryer — with a covered vent — purportedly looks like inside the casing.

This photo was taken by Chia after technical crew and staff from the mall pried open the metal casing.


Here is a photo of the hand dryer responsible for the incident, with its vent exposed:


According to Chia, from his five-year-old daughter's line of sight, she would have been able to see the exposed vent and thought that it was a tissue dispenser or a type of hand dryer which required users to put their hands in.

Chia went further to claim that this "breach of duty of care" on ION Orchard's part left his daughter with "slightly less than half her index finger".

While his daughter has been discharged, her father said there is "psychological damage" because she is now afraid of entering a toilet.

In addition, she fears hand dryers and paper dispensers, said Chia:

"My wish is to one day be able to...make her whole again with a functional prosthetic finger. I have faith that one day medical technology can advance to a stage where I can make this dream a reality.

But till then, my tender five-year-old baby girl has to walk down the road of life with the stares and questions that others will have for her, and constantly having to mentally relive that awful event."

Speaking to Mothership, Chia said that ION Orchard has reached out to him to render assistance, but nothing has been discussed yet.

ION Orchard confirmed that the incident happened on December 6 and said that it is currently in touch with the family to render assistance.

The mall has also checked that all its hand dryers are operating safely:

"We take the safety of our shoppers and tenants seriously. Hand dryers are regularly checked to ensure they are in working condition and are replaced where necessary. Immediately after this incident, we have conducted the necessary checks and ensure that all hand dryers are operating safely."

All images credit: Chia