Man drowns into Singapore River while trying to wash his hands

The paramedics team pronounced the man dead at the scene.

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A 57-year-old man drowned after he apparently tried to wash his hands at the Kallang River in Singapore on Saturday afternoon. The authorities searched for nearly two-hours for his body in the river.

Reports said at around 2.30 pm, the victim, Suhaimi Abu Bakar was spotted near the river at Block 14A, Upper Boon Keng Road. Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao quoted Liu, an eyewitness, who was fishing nearby as saying that he had seen Suhaimi take some newspapers from a rubbish bin.

"I was not sure if he wanted the newspaper so he could spread it on the floor to sit down, or to read it," the 33-year-old Liu said.

According to Liu, Suhaimi soiled his hands with dog droppings and hence he climbed over the railings and was trying to wash his hands in the river.

"Ten minutes later, I heard a 'plop' sound and when I turned around, he (Suhaimi) was nowhere to be seen. I ran over but the water was murky and I could not see much," Liu added.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it was informed about the incident at about 2.45 pm. SCDF conducted surface search operations and deployed two pairs of divers. Later at around 4.30 pm, the divers recovered Suhaimi's body from the river. The paramedics team pronounced the man dead at the scene.

SCDF authorities also dispatched a fire engine, two fire bikes, a Red Rhino, an ambulance and a support vehicle to the scene for further assistance. The police said the investigations are going on to find out the cause of the unnatural death.