NSF Edward Go death: SCDF officer & superior allegedly left him alone in Henderson fire, to be charged

The SCDF officer will be charged on Oct. 16, 2023.

Fiona Tan | October 14, 2023, 09:31 PM



A Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officer, who was the superior of the full-time National Servicemen (NSF) Sergeant 1 (SGT1) Edward H Go, will be charged on Oct. 16, 2023.

The SCDF officer allegedly left him alone to fight the ongoing fire in the Henderson HDB unit on Dec. 8, 2022.

Allegedly left Go alone

The fire broke out in a unit on the fourth floor of a HDB block at Henderson Road in Bukit Merah.

Go, who was one of the firefighters involved in the operation, was found unconscious in the unit's kitchen.

He was conveyed to Singapore General Hospital, where he passed away later that day.

After the incident, the police investigated the facts and circumstances leading to Go's death.

Separately, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in February 2023 that it would convene a Board of Inquiry under the Civil Defence Act to conduct a review on the circumstances that led to Go's death.

Suffocated due to depleted air cylinder

The police concluded their investigations into the circumstances leading to Go's death on Oct. 14, 2023.

According to the Singapore Police Force's (SPF) same day statement, as reported by CNA, an autopsy certified Go’s cause of death to be "suffocation due to depleted air cylinder".

"The investigations did not find any evidence to suggest that [Go's] death was due to equipment failure," SPF said.

Go was the first firefighter to have fallen during an operation.

According to SPF's investigations, Go's superior allegedly did not inform anyone when he left Go alone in the HDB unit to fight the fire.

This is contrary to SCDF’s firefighting doctrine, and the officer is alleged to have "failed in his responsibility to ensure [Go's] safety", SCDF shared in its Oct. 14 statement.

Go's superior will be charged on Oct. 16 with causing grievous hurt by a rash act which endangers life or the personal safety of others.

If convicted, he can be jailed for up to four years, fined up to S$10,000, or both.

Second SCDF officer under investigation

Another SCDF officer is also being investigated in relation to the events leading to Go's death on Dec. 8, 2022.

SCDF stated that SPF had referred this officer for "departmental action" in the context of Go's death.

This officer had allegedly failed to adequately ensure the overall safety of the firefighting operation when he subsequently arrived and took over command and control of the incident.

This officer has been redeployed to a non-supervisory and non-operational post, pending the investigation outcome.

SCDF will investigate and take disciplinary action against him if he is found to have contravened SCDF’s doctrine on firefighting or standard operating procedures during the Henderson Road incident.

"The SCDF is strongly committed to the safety of our officers, as they carry out their mission of saving lives and properties," SCDF said.

"We will continue to provide the fullest support and assistance to [Go's] family."

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Top image from Our Tanjong Pagar and obits.sg