Saved In Time


It was a quiet Sunday morning. Mr Hari L.R. Arjunan, 38, was sound asleep when his wife woke him, telling him frantically that someone had fallen into the canal next to their flat.

The accident happened at around 7.40am on the Pan Island Expressway (PIE).  All nine people in the lorry – all foreign workers – were injured when the vehicle was thrown onto its side after a BMW collided with it.

The driver and a worker in the front seat were trapped. The others who sat in the back were flung off during the collision. The impact threw one of the workers several metres into the canal, while the others were left scattered on the highway and near the canal.

Arjunan said: “I rushed down with my son to see what the commotion was about. I was curious at first, because there were so many people there. I wanted to find out what was happening.”

Arjunan saw a man floating face down in the canal. “At first I thought he was dead, but after looking at him for a while I realised he was still breathing – there were air bubbles coming out from under him,” he said.

Gripping the bars of the railings, Arjunan swung himself over and jumped into the knee-deep water in the 2.5m-deep canal and quickly waded over to the man.

After he turned the man around, he saw that the worker was unconscious and bleeding profusely from the mouth. With no way of climbing out of the canal as there were no steps, he called out to bystanders. Two other men jumped into the canal to help.

Arjunan’s son, Prakash, ran home to get the ladder. As the lift took too long to arrive, the boy ran down four storeys with the ladder, which is taller than him, in tow. The Primary 5 pupil then ran down a slippery grass slope to reach them. Prakash lowered the ladder down into the canal, and Arjunan brought it to the side nearer to the road, where medics were waiting. Arjunan and the two other men lifted the injured worker up and passed him to the medics.

Arjunan said: “I really didn’t think of anything else, I didn’t think of the depth. I got a few minor scratches, but all I was focused on was to try and save the man. I’m just glad we managed to save the guy in time, because he was bleeding so much and so badly injured.”

He said he was also very proud of his son.


Aug 08, 2013



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