A husband and wife in Singapore died on the same day in the saddest and most unexpected of ways.
The husband was apparently hanging clothes out to dry when he fell to his death on 20 August 2019. It is believed that his wife had a heart attack when she heard about what had happened to her husband.
Husband and wife die in unexpected tragedy
According to Lianhe Wanbao, the incident happened at Block 26, Toa Payoh East. The couple, have been identified as Mr Huang Xingwei, and Ms Xue Pingxin. They have three children, and lived on the 10th floor of the block, with their youngest daughter.
The 84-year-old husband was apparently hanging laundry out to dry at around 10:17 am, when he fell to his death. He was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.
According to news reports, his 70-year-old wife suffered from a heart attack when she heard about what had happened to her husband. She was given CPR and rushed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital by SCDF, but unfortunately could not be saved.
It was a neighbour, Madam Maimon Ayab, who first heard the sound of the bamboo pole hitting the ground. When she looked out of the window of her first-storey flat though, she was shocked to find the body of a man face down in the car park.
She immediately asked her grandson to inform the police.
“It was scary. There was a bit of blood coming from his head.”
“T-shirts and shorts that were on the bamboo pole were on the ground as well,” Madam Maimon told The New Paper.
Another neighbour, Madam Mira, recalled that the husband was healthy and active, and would cycle every morning for exercise.
Police have classified the case as unnatural death.
Falls to death while hanging laundry: Not the first case in Singapore
There have been many cases of maids and housewives falling to their deaths while hanging laundry out of HDB kitchen windows.
In 2012, it was reported that 7 maids had fallen to their deaths while washing exterior panes or hanging laundry out to dry.
In 2015, 50-year-old Lee Ha Choo was apparently hanging her clothes out to dry when she fell to death at Block 751 in Jurong West Street 73.
HDB has been experimenting with various designs to make drying laundry safer in Singapore.
In the earliest HDB’s (and until the 1990’s), flats came with pipe socket holders outside the windows. Bamboo poles had to be slotted into the sockets on one end.
These were later replaced by a rack design where both ends of the pole were supported, with the kitchen balcony on one side and the aircon ledge railing on the other.
Since 2002, residents of new HDB flats no longer have to use bamboo poles. There are fixed external racks, parallel to the kitchen wall.