Responding to media reports of disfigurement sustained by the deceased Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) national serviceman, the police clarified that the injuries were sustained while he was in the pump well and during the rescue process.
On Sunday night, Corporal Kok Yuen Chin, 22, was found unconscious at the bottom of Tuas View Fire Station’s pump well after ORD celebrations with his squad mates went terribly wrong. A common ritual for outgoing firefighters who’ve ended their national service term involves getting dunked in the fire station water well, and in this case, the well was 12 meters deep.
Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam confirmed to reporters on Monday that the man died by drowning.
Signs of injury
Since his death, the distraught family of the deceased have been freely speaking to the media regarding the ongoing case — and one disturbing highlight was that CPL Kok’s body showed signs of injury. The Straits Times quoted Kok’s aunt as stating that there were cuts around his chin and cheeks, while Lianhe Zaobao reported that Kok’s father noticed the body had two missing teeth.
You can see why this would be troubling — the injuries sustained could lead to presumptions that the man had been assaulted by his SCDF colleagues before getting dumped in the well.
On top of prior reports that CPL Kok was not able to swim and that he disclosed his fears to his family about the planned ORD celebrations beforehand, it would cause a right alarm among the public.
“Findings will be made known”
Fortunately, the police issued a statement to quickly dispel speculations.
“The police are aware of media reports stating that there were visible injuries discovered on the late CPL Kok Yuen Chin,” said the police yesterday.
“Preliminary investigation findings from police as well as findings from the pathologist indicate that the injuries were sustained in the well and during the rescue process.”
The police issued a reminder that investigations are still ongoing, and urged the public not to speculate about the incident.
“The findings will be made known in due course”.