SCDF NSF drowns after falling into fire station's pump well; 2 regulars arrested

SCDF personnel taking part in the Northstar counter-terrorism exercise at Changi Airport in October 2017. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

A Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) full-time national serviceman (NSF) has died after falling into a fire station’s pump well while celebrating his impending operationally ready date (ORD) with his squad mates on Sunday (13 May).

CPL Kok Yuen Chin did not re-surface and was found unconscious at about 9.20pm on Sunday at the bottom of Tuas View Fire Station’s pump well, a reservoir of water used by fire station personnel for training and testing the pumps of fire engines.

One of the activities during the celebration involved getting Kok – who was due to complete his full-time national service stint on Wednesday – into the pump well, said the SCDF in a statement on Monday.

A number of SCDF personnel had jumped into the pump well to locate him but they were unsuccessful. “CPL Kok was eventually pulled out from the well after the water had been drained,” the statement added.

A paramedic then immediately performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Kok and an automated external defibrillator was also used.

Kok was then conveyed by ambulance to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The SCDF said that the police are currently investigating the matter to ascertain how Kok ended up falling into the pump well and whether any parties are criminally responsible for his death.

Two SCDF regular personnel were placed under arrest on Monday over the incident. Based on preliminary investigations, the SCDF said the mishap appears to have arisen “as a result of activities which SCDF has prohibited”.

“Severe punishments and deterrent action have been meted out in the past to personnel who engaged in unauthorised activities,” the SCDF added.

The SCDF said it will also be conducting briefings at all its fire stations and bases as well as look into check whether any similar activities were conducted in the recent past.

A Board of Inquiry will also be convened to look into the case and full details will be made public in due course, said the SCDF.

“SCDF is saddened by his death and extends our deepest condolences to his family. We are providing all necessary assistance to the family during this difficult time,” it added in the statement.

The SCDF has not disclosed the ages of CPL Kok and the two SCDF regular personnel placed under arrest.

Kok’s death comes two weeks after a 19-year-old Singapore Armed Force NSF died from “signs of heat injury” following an 8km fast march.

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