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Body found in rooftop water tank


Zuo Ci


Body found in rooftop water tank
By Seet Sok Hwee / Hetty Musfirah Abdul Khamid | Posted: 16 May 2011 1722 hrs

SINGAPORE: A 30-year-old Indonesian woman was found dead in a water tank on the rooftop of Blk 686B Woodlands Drive 73. Police has classified the case as murder.

Police were alerted to the to the body of the woman in the water tank, said to be about 1.5 metres wide, at about 10am.

It is understood that blood stains were found in the water tank.

Water supplies for those living at Block 686B came to a halt at about 11am.

Notices were put up by the town council, informing residents about the disruption.

Residents of the 15-storey block had to lug buckets of water from the washing area at the void deck.

PUB said it received a report of the incident at Blk 686B, which is under the purview of Sembawang Town Council, at 3.30pm on Monday.

PUB said the Sembawang town council immediately isolated all the tanks serving the block once it was informed of the incident. There are eight water tanks servicing the block.

Washing, flushing and sterilising works of tanks and distribution pipes began immediately.

PUB said officers were also on site to assist the town council, and also provided water bags and a water tanker.

The national water agency, PUB, said water supply is expected to be restored by midnight.

A resident said she felt like vomiting after she got word of the murder. She said she will take precautions for fear that the water had been contaminated.

"This morning, I used the water for cooking, But now I have to go home and throw it all away. I asked if we could bathe, the people in charge said better not. When I found out, I thought it was horrific."

Another resident was resigned to what has happened. She said: "I'm not scared, I already cooked with it, I'm not scared."

The deceased had long hair and was found in a T-shirt and bermudas. She was pronounced dead at 1pm.

It is believed that she works with a family living in the block where she was found.

One of the lifts at the block was also out of order, with some residents saying that they saw blood stains in the lift.

A 27-year-old Bangladeshi has been arrested in connection to the case.

A resident living in the opposite block said he saw the suspect being arrested at about the same time.

He said: "I saw an Indian man, wearing light green colour shirt caught by the police officers. Don't know what happened, did not hear any kind of loud noise or anything like this."

Some residents living on the highest floor said they heard loud voices of people quarrelling early in the morning.





May 17, 2011

Maid's body found in HDB water tank

By Elizabeth Soh & Kimberly Spykerman

Any health risk? It depends on the facts

A DOCTOR specialising in infectious diseases advised residents of the Woodlands block where a body was found in a water tank to stay calm as the full facts were not yet known.

Two critical issues were: how long the body was in the tank and the extent of decomposition.

The doctor said that if a body was submerged for more than 24 hours, there could be bacterial contamination caused by decomposition and the water would smell too.

But information pieced together from residents of Block 686B, Woodlands Drive 73 yesterday suggests that the body might have been in the tank for only a few hours.

Some said they heard screams at 7am, and the police were informed about the body at 10am. Water supply from the rooftop tanks was cut off at 11am.

The doctor who spoke to The Straits Times said: 'If there is bacterial contamination of the water, those who drink the water may experience symptoms such as stomach ache, diarrhoea and vomiting.'

None of the residents interviewed had such symptoms. While some noticed that the water was discoloured or 'bubbly', nobody complained of smell.


'I am very upset and angry that the town council did not explain properly what had happened. This is just too scary.'

Housewife Yasmin Abdul, 35


Police on the roof of Block 686B, Woodlands Drive 73, where the body of an Indonesian maid was found in a water tank. Police have not released the name of the maid. -- ST PHOTOS: CAROLINE CHIA

<img id="lightboxImage" style="" src="http://www.straitstimes.com/STI/STIMEDIA/image/20110516/ST_IMAGES_ESMAID17-XHA.jpg" width="329">

The body being removed by police. The victim was believed to be in an intimate relationship with the Bangladeshi maintenance worker.

<img id="lightboxImage" style="" src="http://www.straitstimes.com/STI/STIMEDIA/image/20110516/ST_IMAGES_ESMAID17.jpg" width="329">

Residents collecting water from taps set up by PUB. Their water supply was cut off after the body was found inside a water tank.

SOME residents of a block of Housing Board flats in Woodlands were greeted with an unusual sight when they turned on their taps yesterday morning.

The water was slightly yellowish and appeared unnaturally foamy.

Some assumed that the water pipes were malfunctioning. At least four residents of Block 686B, Woodlands Drive 73, called the Sembawang Town Council to complain.

First their water supply was cut off at 11am. Then they were told that 'maintenance work' was being done. It was only later in the day that the horrifying news spread: A 30-year-old Indonesian maid working there had been found dead in one of eight water tanks atop the 15-storey block.

A 27-year-old Bangladeshi maintenance worker was arrested nearby in connection with the woman's death. They were believed to have been in an intimate relationship.

Some residents recalled hearing screams and a couple arguing loudly in the morning, but they did not call the police, thinking it was a domestic problem.

Read the full story in Tuesday's edition of The Straits Times.

[email protected]

[email protected]

Additional reporting by Melissa Pang and Grace Chua




May 18, 2011

Rooftop murder of maid: Bangladeshi worker charged

By Elena Chong


The body of an Indonesian domestic worker was removed from the scene. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

A BANGLADESHI maintenance worker was charged with the murder of an Indonesian domestic worker at the rooftop of a block of flats in Woodlands.

Md Bepon Mostafa, 27, is alleged to have caused the death of Ms Ruliyawati, 30, at Block 686B Woodlands Drive 73 between 7.10am and 9.54am on Monday.

The maid's body was found in one of the eight water tanks atop the 15-storey block.

Ms Ruliyawati, married with a child, had been working for an employer on the sixth floor of the block.

Mostafa was remanded for investigation at Central police division lock-up for a week.

If convicted, he faces the mandatory death penalty.


Zuo Ci


May 19, 2011


Maid's death: Curb on access to tanks
Only town council staff can access water tanks now; cleaner charged with murder

By Elena Chong and Kimberly Spykerman & Jalelah Abu Baker

<img id="lightboxImage" style="" src="http://www.straitstimes.com/STI/STIMEDIA/image/20110518/ST_IMAGES_ECMURDER19B.jpg" width="329">

Ms Ruliyawati's body was found in a rooftop water tank.


Bangladeshi cleaner Repon Mostafa being taken to the Subordinate Courts by the police yesterday. The 27-year-old was charged with murdering Indonesian maid Ruliyawati, 30, on Monday. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

THE Sembawang Town Council (STC) is restricting access to rooftop water tanks so that only town council staff have access, in the light of the murder of an Indonesian maid on Monday.

The body of Ms Ruliyawati, 30, was discovered in a water tank serving the residents of Block 686B, Woodlands Drive 73. On Wednesday, Bangladeshi cleaner Repon Mostafa, 27, was charged with murdering her between 7.10am and 9.54am on Monday.

The grisly circumstances of the incident has raised questions among residents about how strict the town council is about access to potentially sensitive areas like HDB block rooftops, which house water tanks.

STC general manager Soon Min Sin told The Straits Times that as of Wednesday, keys to the water tanks would be given only to town council staff.

He added that the locks on all eight tanks in Block 686B have also been replaced.

While the lift repair crew has keys to the roof, they will not have access to the water tanks.

Read the full report in Thursday's edition of The Straits Times.

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

Jabba the Hutt


Water in Block 686B Woodlands Drive 73 safe to drink, says MP
By Mustafa Shafawi / Vimita Mohandas | Posted: 19 May 2011 1347 hrs

SINGAPORE: Member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC, Mr Vikram Nair, has given his personal reassurance that water in Block 686B Woodlands Drive 73 is safe for consumption.

The body of an Indonesian maid was found floating in a water tank at Block 686B on Monday and residents have been squeamish about drinking the water from the tap. A Bangladeshi cleaner was charged with her murder on Wednesday.

Mr Nair said: "Someone posted on my Facebook 'Why doesn't the MP lead by example and drink some water?' So another resident who saw that post invited me in, he didn't ask me to drink but he said 'Thank you for coming and it was very nice of you to come but my family is still a bit concerned.'

"So since we met on Facebook, I said let me have a glass of water. So I did that and it's been okay."

Meanwhile, the PAP Town Councils said they will further enhance the current security measures on access to the water tanks of HDB blocks.

In a statement, Coordinating Chairman Dr Teo Ho Pin said they would allow only authorised Town Council staff and the Emergency Unit to have access to the water tanks.

Dr Teo said there is currently two levels of security control in place for access to the water tanks.

He said the water tanks at the roof top are secured with locks.

In addition, access to the roof top is also secured with lockable doors.

The issue of the keys is restricted to authorised personnel for maintenance and emergency work.

- CNA/cc/ac