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HomesingaporeSCDF officer to be charged over NSF firefighter’s death after Henderson Road...

SCDF officer to be charged over NSF firefighter’s death after Henderson Road fire

SINGAPORE: A 38-year-old Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officer will be charged on Monday (Oct 16) over the death of 19-year-old full-time national serviceman Edward H Go, the police said on Saturday.

Sergeant 1 (SGT1) Go fell unconscious while fighting a fire at Block 91 Henderson Road on Dec 8 last year and later died in hospital.

The 19-year-old was the first firefighter to die because of an SCDF operation.

The police launched an investigation after his death. The SCDF officer, who was the full-time national serviceman’s (NSF) superior, had allegedly left him alone in a flat to battle the blaze without informing anyone, said the police, adding that this was against SCDF protocols.

The autopsy found SGT1 Go’s cause of death to be suffocation due to a depleted air cylinder.

“The investigations did not find any evidence to suggest that (SGT1 Go’s) death was due to equipment failure,” said the police.

The police, in consultation with the Attorney-General’s Chambers, will charge the officer with causing grievous hurt by a rash act which endangers the life or personal safety of others.

If convicted, he can be jailed up to four years, fined up to S$10,000 (US$7,300), or both.

SCDF said it is investigating a second officer, who allegedly failed to ensure the overall safety of the firefighting operation when he arrived and took over command and control of the incident.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said in parliament in February that a Board of Inquiry (BOI) would be convened to look into the case.

“Since the BOI is also a fact-finding body, it will be held after the coroner’s findings are established. The BOI will then also be able to consider the police and the coroner’s findings, in its assessment of the matter,” said Assoc Prof Faishal.

On Jan 9, Assoc Prof Faishal revealed that a fire engine accessway leading to the Henderson Road block was blocked by a funeral wake tent, leading to an 18-minute delay in the firefighters’ response to the blaze. 

He added that SGT1 Go had attended to nearly 60 fire and rescue calls since he was posted to Central Fire Station in May last year. His performance as a trainee was among the top 25 per cent of his cohort.


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