A 30-year-old woman, Mrs Low, and her baby were trapped inside a nursing room at HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir for almost 3 hours on Monday after the lock dislodged.
She was with her husband getting takeaway dinner there when she needed to nurse her baby, before going into a nursing room with her baby on the second floor at about 7.30 pm while her husband waited outside.
However, when she was done and tried to leave the nursing room, she realised that the door is stuck.
Her 32-year-old husband then hurriedly went to the clubhouse staff for help and a representative from the management office then arrived and told him that they didn’t have the master key for the door.
Turns out the master key was with an external vendor at the time because they were previously performing minor rectification work on the alignment of the door.
The vendor later arrived with the master about 1 hour after Mrs Low had gone into the nursing room, but it failed to work because the locking mechanism was jammed.
They then tried other ways of opening the door to free the trapped mother and child, including attempting to saw the lock open.
Mr Low said that he had initially thought that they would bring in power tools, but they brought a metal saw instead, and it didn’t work. He added that they also tried to use a metal ruler to cut open the door.
The door also couldn’t be dismantled and taken apart because it had to be done from the inside.
Left with no other options, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was called in at about 9.40 pm and they arrived within 5 minutes and opened the door with their tools in 15 minutes.
Low said that luckily he was outside at the time, “if there was no one around, how would anyone know if there’s someone stuck inside?”
Following the incident, Low said that his wife has been having nightmares occasionally and developed a phobia of going into enclosed spaces, such as lifts.
A spokesperson for HomeTeamNS said that the lock on the door had gotten dislodged and that it was the first time that something like this happened. They added that the lock had not been faulty before the incident.
An emergency contact has since been placed inside the nursing room by the management, with the nursing room doors also being replaced by a “more user-friendly” option.
They also added that they will “continue to revise and strengthen our internal procedures to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents”.