The Board of Inquiry set up to investigate the death of SCDF full-time national serviceman CPL Kok Yuen Chin has concluded that he drowned after being pushed into a pump well by a colleague during a celebratory ragging ritual.
After interviews with over 50 persons, including SCDF staff form Tuas View Fire Station where the incident took place, the Board found that on 13 May this year:
8.40pm: A celebration was held for CPL Kok as it was his last day on the job. He was given a cake and a plaque by his ROTA colleagues.
9.04pm: The ragging began. CPL Kok was carried to the pump well by his colleagues. While he was sitting on the edge of the well, one of his colleagues pushed him into the well.
9.07pm: CPL Kok did not resurface. Seconds later, a colleague jumped into the well to try and rescue him. Several others followed suit but none could find him. A fire engine suction pump was then used to extract water from the well. CPL Kok was found unconscious. Ropes were used to pull him out of the well. The whole ordeal lasted 36 minutes.
9.43pm: Paramedics tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate CPL Kok. He was then sent to Ng Teng Fong Hospital, arriving at 10.13pm.
11.02pm: CPL Kok was pronounced dead. An autopsy confirmed that he died by drowning.
The Board has recommended that fire station pump wells be decommissioned to remove the risk of unauthorised access as pump-well testing and training can be centralised at the Civil Defence Academy without compromising SCDF’s operational effectiveness.
SCDF has agreed to the recommendations and will decommission all 19 pump wells at fire stations by December this year.