Mother & baby trapped in HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir nursing room for over 2 hours as lock malfunctioned

SCDF was eventually called in after failed attempts to free them.

Nixon Tan | March 18, 2023, 11:37 AM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates:

A mother and 2-month-old daughter found themselves trapped in a nursing room at Bedok Reservoir's HomeTeamNS after the locking mechanism malfunctioned.

According to The Straits Times (ST), the woman, surnamed Low, was there to take away a meal.

She needed to nurse the baby and entered a nursing room on the second floor at around 7:30pm, according to her husband.

Got trapped

Low realised she was trapped when she tried leaving, and contacted her husband for help.

He quickly sought help from the clubhouse staff and a representative from the management arrived shortly.

Unfortunately, the representative told Low's husband that they did not have the master key.

A spokesperson from HomeTeamNS said that the master key was with an external vendor due to "minor rectification work" that was recently done on the door.

Low and her daughter were trapped in the room for an hour before the vendor arrived with the master key.

SCDF called in

However, the master lock key failed to free them, as the locking mechanism was jammed.

The vendor then tried various other methods to free them, including sawing the door open.

Low's husband told ST, "I thought that they would bring in power tools but they took out a metal saw. It didn't work."

"Then they tried to use a metal ruler to cut open the lock," he added.

Low's husband also noted that the door could not be dismantled from the outside.

Eventually, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was called in at around 9:40pm. They arrived within five minutes, and Low was freed 15 minutes later.

In a statement provided to Mothership, SCDF said that they used rescue equipment to release the lock that was at the base of the sliding door.

They noted that there were no reported injuries.

Lasting effects

Low's husband told ST that he spoke with his wife over the phone or through a small gap in the door throughout the ordeal.

“The whole time, she was more concerned with taking care of the baby,” he said. “But afterwards, she realised that whatever happened had an impact on her emotionally.”

He said that following the incident, Low became a light sleeper, experiences occasional nightmares, and has developed a phobia of lifts and other small spaces.

In response to Mothership's queries, a HomeTeamNS spokesperson said that they should have ensured that the master key was handed over promptly after the rectification work was done.

"Prior to the incident, the door lock was not faulty," they added.

HomeTeamNS has also added an emergency contact in the nursing rooms, and all three nursing room doors will be replaced with a "more user-friendly" option.

In the meantime, an "alternative facility" has been set aside for nursing mothers.

The spokesperson added: “HomeTeamNS will continue to revise and strengthen our internal procedures to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents.”

Top photo via HomeTeamNS website