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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Her $10,000 diamond ring fell into toilet bowl

An article worth an interesting read:

By Amanda Yong
That was what Ms Lina Tan's horror when her 1.58 carat diamond ring slipped from her finger and fell into a toilet bowl as it was being flushed.
Before she could react, the ring had vanished into the drain.
For Ms Tan, 42, a senior manager, the horror of that moment was followed by anxiety, hope, disappointment and finally relief.
After nearly seven hours, and help from a plumbing firm and PUB, the national water agency, the ring was retrieved.
The incident happened at Singapore Press Holdings News Centre in Toa Payoh, where Ms Tan works, on Thursday.
Ms Tan told The New Paper that around 10.30am, she was in a cubicle with a squat toilet and had just pressed the flush button.
Before she knew it, the ring slid down her finger and dropped into the toilet bowl. 'I was so shocked I didn't know what to do,' said Ms Tan.
She ran back to her office nearby and told her boss about it. 'My boss suggested that I call PUB and we did,' she said.
'PUB said it was the first time they had heard of such a thing, but they agreed to send staff down to help.'
Meanwhile, a frantic Ms Tan approached the building's maintenance officers for help.
The maintenance officers told her that they would have to search the sanitary drain line along the perimeter of the office compound because waste from the squat toilet is channelled directly to it.
Said Ms Tan: 'The maintenance officer removed the cover (of the inspection chamber) that was nearest the toilet and I stood there with him to try and look out for the ring while someone else was inside the building flushing the toilet.
'We were hoping to flush the ring out and to catch it at the first (inspection chamber).'
It did not work as the ring had already been carried further down the drain line.
Was it disgusting?
Not very much, said Ms Tan. She could think only of her ring and barely noticed the smell.
Around 2pm, Ms Tan called a plumbing company for help.
The five-man team initially used a water jet to flush the ring out.
That, too, proved unsuccessful.
And with each failed attempt, Ms Tan's fear that they would never find the ring intensified.
'I was very anxious because I wasn't sure if they could find it, and I was upset because I really liked the ring,' Ms Tan said.
She had bought it during a holiday in Australia three years ago.
But more help - and reassurance - came from a four-man PUB team.
When the PUB team reached the office at 4pm, they checked the water flow in the drain line outside the office compound.
'They said that based on the water flow, which was quite slow, they were sure that the ring was still in the drain line located in the office compound. It would be easier to trace the ring then,' Ms Tan said.
When contacted, a PUB spokesman said: 'PUB officers advised that the diamond ring could likely have been retained in the sanitary drain line.
'They worked with Ms Tan's plumber to flush the sanitary drain line under low pressure, and used a net at the downstream sanitary drain line inspection chamber to inspect and retrieve the diamond ring when it was flushed down the line.'
After repeated flushing, the diamond ring was successfully retrieved from the fifth inspection chamber, the PUB spokesman added.
Mr Murugan, 36, a supervisor with the plumbing company, was the one who first spotted the ring.
At first he thought it was a one-dollar coin.
Mr Murugan said: 'I wasn't sure because both are gold in colour.'
He signalled to Ms Tan to come over to take a look.
And when she did, she was overjoyed.
The ring was intact and undamaged save for some light scratches.
Ms Tan said: 'I'm really happy and grateful to the PUB officers for the effort, advice and time they spent (helping to retrieve the ring).'
She paid the plumbing company $400. She did not have to pay the PUB.
And she was wearing the ring again the very next day - after soaking it in disinfectant overnight.
Ms Tan said the ring was 'a bit loose' on her left ring finger, which is where she always wore it.
But she has now switched to wearing the ring on her right ring finger - where it fits perfectly.
This article was first published in The New Paper.

Moral of the story:
Make sure your rings are fitting, and do not drop out easily. And try not to wear them to the toilet!

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