Newborn boy found alive in tied plastic bag in Bedok North rubbish bin
Cleaner heard crying noises and found the baby after digging through bags of garbage
Two cleaners made a shocking discovery as they were clearing bags of rubbish from a chute bin in Bedok North yesterday.
Inside a bloody bag, which was tied, was a newborn boy - and he was alive.
The bag was then untied so the crying infant could breathe.
Paramedics later established that the baby was in stable condition with no visible injury. He was then taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital.
The police said they were alerted to the incident at Block 534 Bedok North Street 3 at about 9am.
The officers went door to door to speak to residents in the 13-storey block to try to trace the baby's parents.
They also approached owners of vehicles left at the open-air carpark nearby to ask for footage from their in-car cameras.
As of 11.30pm last night, the parents were yet to be found. Police investigations are ongoing.
One of the cleaners, Mr Patwari Shamin, 24, said he heard a baby crying when he opened one of the rubbish bins.
"I thought I was hearing things at first but then realised it was coming from inside the rubbish bin," he told Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao.
As he dug through the bags of garbage, he realised the crying noises were from a tied white plastic bag. He alerted his supervisor, who called the police.
After opening the bag, they saw a naked baby boy with blood on his body and his umbilical cord still attached.
Mr Patwari said: "The boy, who was crying loudly, did not look hurt. We handed him to the paramedics when they arrived."
It is not known whether the infant was thrown down a chute or had been placed in the chute bin.
Several residents told The New Paper they had no idea what was going on when the police questioned them.
Housewife Rashida Ahmad, 54, who lives on the second storey, said the police asked her if she had heard crying noises.
"I didn't hear anything," she told TNP, adding that she was also asked about her family.
"I told them my daughter and her husband were at work, and they asked if she was pregnant. I said she got married just four months ago. I was quite scared."
Her second-storey neighbour, Ms Chelvi Sukamaran, 29, said the police showed her closed-circuit TV footage of a woman walking down the stairs and asked if she knew her or had seen her around.
"They also asked me if I had heard any fighting or arguments downstairs," said Ms Sukamaran, whose unit faces a bus stop.
Housewife Ama Salim, 62, who lives on the fifth storey, said a large crowd had gathered at the void deck in the morning.
She said: "The police came in to check my rubbish chute, and then I looked down and saw a lot of people standing around the bin centre downstairs."
Mr Dan Evangelista works as a staff nurse at Thye Hua Kwan Senior Care Centre, located near the bin. He said someone was working in the kitchen, which is close to the bin centre, but a concrete wall would have made it difficult to hear the baby's cries.
He said the police cordoned off the area around the bin centre.
Workers' Party secretary-general Pritam Singh, who is vice-chairman of the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council, said in a Facebook post that he had "a million thoughts" when he saw pictures of the incident.
He said: "Had the worker not found the blessed child, he could have been crushed by the compactor where all rubbish is centrally disposed in the precinct."
A Ministry of Social and Family Development spokesman told TNP that abandonment of babies here is rare.
In 2016, there were two cases of abandoned babies, none in 2017 and 2018, and one last year.
She said: "MSF Child Protective Service (CPS) will look into the immediate care arrangement of the child, while the police investigate the case."
The child may be placed under the care of a foster parent during the investigations.
The spokesman said if the child's parents can be traced, CPS will assess and recommend the appropriate permanent care plan for the child.
If they cannot be traced or cannot care for the child, CPS will explore alternative care arrangements, including adoption.
- ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY OSMOND CHIA
For mothers-to-be seeking help
24-hour Mum-To-Be Helpline 1800-686-8623
Pregnancy Crisis Service 6339- 9770
For teens facing pregnancy crisis
Babes 24-hour helpline 8111-3535
Safe Place 6817-4202