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Board of Inquiry to review death of Henderson Road firefighter

Board of Inquiry to review death of Henderson Road firefighter

Sergeant 1 Edward H Go, who died battling a blaze at Henderson Road, was accorded a ceremonial funeral on Dec 13, 2022. (Photo: CNA/Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: A Board of Inquiry (BOI) will be convened to look into the case of a firefighter who died on duty, Minister of State for Home Affairs Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said in Parliament on Friday (Feb 24).

Assoc Prof Faishal was replying to a question by Member of Parliament (MP) Murali Pillai (PAP-Bukit Batok) on investigations into the death of Sergeant 1 Edward Go, a Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) full-time national serviceman and firefighter.

The 19-year-old collapsed while fighting a fire at Henderson Road in December last year, and later died in hospital. He was the first firefighter to lose his life during an SCDF operation.

Assoc Prof Faishal said that the police were currently investigating SGT1 Go's death.

When investigations are completed, the police will inform the coroner of their findings. The coroner will then consider the police’s investigations and make a finding on the circumstances relating to SGT1 Go’s death, he said.

A Board of Inquiry will also be convened under the Civil Defence Act, to review the incident.

"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.

"The BOI will submit its report to the Minister for Home Affairs and we will share the Board’s findings and recommendations at an appropriate juncture."

On Jan 9, Assoc Prof Faishal revealed that a fire engine accessway leading to the Henderson Road block where the fire broke out was blocked by a funeral wake tent, leading to an 18-minute delay in 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, and his performance as a trainee was among the top 25 per cent of his cohort.

In response to a supplementary question by MP Dennis Tan (WP-Hougang) on Friday, Assoc Prof Faishal said that a coroner's inquiry will be held and the findings will be made public.

On Monday, however, Assoc Prof Faishal clarified in Parliament that the State Coroner "may decide" to hold an inquiry, as previously disclosed in January. And if so, it will be held in open court, with the information made public "unless the coroner has sufficient reason not to do so", he added. 

Source: CNA/hm(jo)


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