Singapore mum's horror as glass door shatters on children leaving them dripping in blood
"To my horror, both were dripping in blood. I could see a big hole on Ariel’s shoulder. I knew it was bad..."
Singapore mum Tan had a frightening experience recently when she saw her 2 daughters dripping in blood inside the bathroom. Apparently, the glass shower screen shattered by itself, leaving the girls injured.
“To my horror, both were dripping in blood. I could see a big hole on Ariel’s shoulder. I knew it was bad”, says Tan.
In a Facebook post (that has since then been taken down), Tan details what really happened. The scary incident happened on 28 October 2018 at around 5 pm, when the girls were showering.
Tan was alerted to a “loud sound followed by their screams.”
Apparently, her daughter, Ariel, was simply opening the glass door when it shattered.
“They were not hitting the glass or playing. She (Ariel) then turned back, hugged Lala and thus hurt her left side. Lala was blocked and suffered minor cuts on her feet”, she reveals.
Tan quickly called administered first aid and called for the ambulance, but the blood kept oozing.
She says, “The blood continued to soak through the gauzes despite pressure. Ariel went pale at one instant and I was so worried that I might lose her…”
The girl was rushed to KK Hospital, where doctors and nurses sprung into action.
“A total of 8 doctors saw to her. Thankfully, her tendons weren’t hurt and they stitched her up at her shoulder, back and hand.”
The child is now recovering and resting at home.
Mummy Tan is thankful for the quick action from the doctors, but remains disappointed by the attitude of the management and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).
She reveals her conversation with the management, “We spoke to the Management after the incident happened. “Oh Warranty is over.”“Carton box you can take from recycling bin.””
“The guy made me feel that there is no more empathy in the society anymore.”
Her interaction with the developer was similarly insipid. All they had to say was that the warranty had expired.
This is apparently what BCA had to say, “BCA is the governing body but we mainly look at structures of the building. When you signed the sales and purchase agreement, you should have known that they are using tempered glass. So you accepted the interior design and the choice of materials.”
Tan stresses that, “What we were asking for wasn’t compensation or finger pointing. It’s not about money honestly. Perhaps this mindset is predominant in Singapore.”
As a mum, her primary concern remains the safety of her family. She sincerely hopes that such an accident does not happen to anyone else, “Perhaps we always have to wait till someone get seriously injured then we table it for discussion. We just don’t want anyone to go through what we went through and what Ariel is going through now.”
Meanwhile, here are some tips that Tan has shared to avoid a similar accident:
- “If you have existing glass shower screen, please add the film that helps prevent it from shattering.
- If you have a say, do not install tempered glass or any form of glass in the shower. It is simply too painful a price to pay.
Tan strongly feels that property developers have the duty to install the glass doors with protective film.
“The governing body needs to step in to govern use of such materials. How will homeowners know if the materials are approved or of good quality? Someone asked me “does that mean that after warranty, it is okay to shatter?””
“In fact, I was told that HDB no longer installs tempered glass in the shower. So shouldn’t we take reference from there?”, she asks.
Unfortunately, this is hardly the first time such a problem has been reported in Singapore.
In 2014, a young girl suffered numerous cuts after the glass bathroom door in her home shattered while she was nearby.
Also in 2015, a mum had just finished bathing her 10-month old daughter, when her glass bathroom door shattered for no reason, leaving glass shards all over the floor.
In the same year, analyst Kevin Fong was shocked to enter his bathroom one day to find his glass shower cubicle in pieces all over the floor.
Again, in May 2018, a toddler was hurt after a bathroom glass door shattered by itself. It was a maid’s quick thinking and presence of mind that saved the day.
There are regulations for types of glass that can be used for the exterior of a building (windows, balconies etc). The type of glass used within the home however, is up to the home owner.
- There are 2 main types of “safety glass”: tempered glass and laminated glass.
- Don’t go for cheaper glass: Normal untreated glass may be cheaper, but when it breaks, it breaks into shards with extremely sharp edges that can be dangerous.
When tempered glass breaks, however, it shatters into smaller pieces with ‘softer’ edges. Even if you get cut, injuries will be less severe.
Do note that laminated and tempered glass can cost up to 50 % more than untreated glass.
According to experts, there’s a common misconception that any glass becomes ‘safety glass’ just because safety film has been applied on it.
(A safety film is a large piece of sticky tape pasted over glass to hold the shards together in case it breaks).
However, if the glass has not been treated properly, it can still cut through the film and hurt someone badly.
- You can check for the type of glass installed by checking the corner of the glass panel for the manufacturer’s mark.