SINGAPORE – A man who had appeared to be sleeping at a hawker centre for an entire day was later found dead.
On Sunday (19 March), the police and SCDF were notified of the incident at North Bridge Road Market and Food Centre at approximately 8:15 pm. A 56-year-old man was pronounced dead on the scene by an SCDF paramedic.
The police investigated the scene for about four hours before removing the body at 11 pm.
Based on preliminary investigations, the police do not suspect foul play.
According to Chinese media Shin Min Daily News, a cleaner, 66-year-old Liew Zhenguang, called an ambulance after the supposedly sleeping man did not respond when he attempted to wake him up.
‘Thought he was drunk customer’
Mr Liew, who went to work at the hawker centre at 9 am on Sunday, initially thought that the man was a drunk customer and paid no attention to him.
“I thought he was a drunk customer, as I had seen many of them before, so I didn’t pay much attention to him and didn’t bother him.”
Other hawkers said that they had seen the man sleeping on the table and that he had been there since approximately 3 am.
They added that it was common for older people or drunk customers to sleep on chairs or tables in the hawker centre, especially during quieter periods after the busy afternoon rush.
“When I arrived in the morning, I also saw a bowl of noodles on his table,” a hawker who did not want to be named said.
It wasn’t until around 8 pm when Mr Liew was cleaning the floor that he realized the man was still lying motionless on the table.
He went to wake the man up after being reminded by a diner, but the man did not respond.
He became suspicious and immediately called for help.
“At that time, the operator asked me to check whether he had breath, but I found his lower abdomen was stiff and seemed to have no breath.”
“I feel a little guilty. If I had called him earlier, perhaps he would still be awake and could have been saved.”
An SCDF paramedic arrived at the scene and pronounced the man dead.