Death of 1-Altitude security guard could have been avoided had safety standards been observed: Coroner

Mr Shaun Tung Mun Hon fell into a construction manhole trying to keep two customers away from a barricaded area.
Mr Shaun Tung Mun Hon fell into a construction manhole trying to keep two customers away from a barricaded area.PHOTOS: REBECCA TUNG

SINGAPORE - The accident in which a part-time security officer fell into a 4m-deep pit to his death at 1-Altitude rooftop bar last year could have been avoided if safety standards had been observed, said the state coroner on Thursday (Aug 13).

Following an inquiry into Mr Shaun Tung Mun Hon's death, State Coroner Kamala Ponnampalam said that there had been safety lapses at the bar located at One Raffles Place.

Lawyer Wong Soo Chih, representing Mr Tung's family who were in court yesterday, told The Straits Times after the hearing that her clients intend to sue the bar over the mishap.

1-Altitude is run by food and beverage company Synergy in the Sky, which is part of 1-Group.

It was revealed during the inquiry that the opening Mr Tung, 26, fell into on June 9 last year had been earlier uncovered by workers tasked with cleaning the building's facade.

Inside the opening was a switch to operate a gondola used to clean the facade of One Raffles Place, a 63-storey building.

The court had earlier heard that Mr Tung, a part-time guard, was shown the pit and briefed about it before he started his shift at the alfresco bar on the day of his death.

Barricades and warning signs had been erected on the second floor of the nightspot, where the pit opening was located, to prevent guests from entering the area.

However, the barricades could be pushed aside and the area around the pit was not illuminated, said State Coroner Kamala.

Mr Tun had spotted two men, who were not identified, entering the cordoned-off area around 1.30am, the court had earlier heard.

 
 
 

He ran towards the men while shining his torch to warn them, but failed to spot the pit himself and fell in.

Mr Tung's colleagues saw him fall in and his supervisor, who rushed forward, saw him lying face down at the bottom of the pit.

Paramedics arrived at the scene and Mr Tung was pronounced dead about 30 minutes later.

The autopsy revealed that he died from a head injury.

Mr Tung, who has a young son, was cremated on June 11 last year.