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SCDF NSF who died suffered facial & head injuries, 2 broken teeth: Family

His girlfriend and cousin said he couldn't swim.

By Belmont Lay |Mandy How | May 15, 2018

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) full-time national serviceman (NSF) who died after he went inside the pump well at Tuas View Fire Station, did not know how to swim.

The body of the late NSF Corporal Kok Yuen Chin, which has been brought back to his family in Malaysia, was found to have visible signs of injury.

Injuries to face

Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao reported on Tuesday, May 15 that Kok had suffered injuries to his forehead and cheek, and had two missing teeth.

He was found unconscious at the bottom of a pump well.

Family members interviewed said they suspect the injuries were due to the heavy impact sustained by Kok’s face when he fell down the well.

Kok’s father, Guo Ming Hua, said when he went to identify the body with his sister and sister’s husband on Monday, he saw the injuries on his son’s forehead and cheek, as well as two missing teeth.

The newspaper also reported that Kok’s father had gone to the Tuas View Fire Station and saw, for the first time, the well his son fell into.

Shocked, he said: “Even if go in already, how to come out?”

A reporter at the scene saw the father very upset and agitated. He was heard saying: “Fall inside, then die already.”

The father said in an interview: “I suspect when he fell into the well, his face hit the well’s wall, which caused the injuries. Perhaps his head was struck and he went into a coma, sank into the well and took in water.”

The father also said, when he went to the spot of the well with his sister and sister’s husband to do a spiritual ceremony, he was very shocked when he saw the well: “I thought the well would only be as big as a table, but seeing it for myself that it is so big, so deep, and there are no steps at the side of the walls to climb, no idea how one can get out.”

SCDF gave S$9,000 funeral money

Regarding the death of his son allegedly due to a celebration activity, Kok’s father expressed sadly that if it happened in the course of work, maybe it is still acceptable. But if it’s because of human factors, he cannot accept it.

The father also revealed that in addition to the RM5,000 for the son’s funeral that SCDF gave, they also received a S$9,000 cash check as funeral money.

The wake will be for five days, and Kok will be cremated on Thursday morning.

Didn’t know how to swim

Earlier in the day, Clare Heng Ming Yi, the girlfriend of Kok, wrote in Chinese on Facebook on Tuesday, May 15, that her boyfriend was “afraid of water’ and “did not know how to swim”.

Heng also wrote: “When I tried to teach you how to swim, you didn’t want to learn.”

In another Facebook post on Tuesday, Heng also recounted the last conversation she had with her late boyfriend on Saturday night, a day before the fatal pump well incident.

Heng said she could not sleep that night and noticed Kok talking in his sleep. She found it unusual as he had never done that before.

Heng wrote in Chinese: “I started to think that you were talking to me, and I woke you up to ask what happened.”

“You then asked me why I was not asleep, and I replied that I could not sleep, and told you to go ahead to bed first. This was the last time we spoke face to face.”

Kok’s cousin, Julia Ng, said the serviceman had been “thrown in” and not “put in”.

Impending ORD

Kok, 22, is a Malaysia national and a Singapore Permanent Resident.

He had been celebrating his impending end of full-time national service with his squad mates the night on Sunday, May 13.

He entered the pump well at Tuas View Fire Station as part of celebratory activities. He was found unconscious at the bottom of it.

The pump well is a reservoir of water used by fire station personnel for training and for testing the pumps of fire engines. It is about 12 metres deep.

At the time of the incident, the water level in the well was about 11 metres deep.

Two regular servicemen, a Warrant Officer 1 and a Staff Sergeant, have been arrested.

Preliminary investigations pointed to prohibited activities taking place.

A Board of Inquiry will also be convened to look into the matter.

Kok’s body has been brought back to his hometown in Melaka.

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About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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