Couple die of suspected electrocution; son who tries to revive them dies too

An 80-year-old man, his wife, 66, and their son, 45, died following a suspected electrocution incident in the elderly couple’s flat in Lakeside on Thursday.

Police said no foul play is suspected. They were alerted to the unnatural deaths at Block 120 Ho Ching Road at about 4.15pm.

The couple were found lying motionless and were pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic.

Their son, who was visiting them, was unconscious when the paramedics arrived. He was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hos-pital, where he was later pronounced dead.

The police are investigating the family’s deaths.

The elderly man, Mr Omar Manan, reportedly fell in the shower. Both he and his wife, Madam Asmah Bujang, are believed to have been electrocuted when she rushed in to assist him.

Their son, Muhamad Ashikin Omar, and his 15-year-old daughter were visiting them, according to a family friend who spoke to Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News.

After a prolonged wait outside the unit, the son broke down the door and entered the flat. On seeing his parents on the ground, he tried to revive them. It is understood that he was electrocuted too.

When The Straits Times went to the unit yesterday, police officers were seen inside the flat.

A neighbour, who wanted to be known only as Madam Ting, told ST in Mandarin that the couple lived alone and were visited by their son and their daughter-in-law almost daily.

The 77-year-old retiree, who has lived there for about 50 years, said: “I used to talk to them from the corridor every day. They are a very close and pleasant family. I can’t believe the three of them are gone.”

The funeral, held at a relative’s house in Kang Ching Road in the vicinity of the couple’s flat, was under way when ST arrived.

Relatives and friends of the family lined the corridor and gathered inside the flat to pay their respects.

Police investigators at the flat where the bodies of an elderly couple were found, at Block 120 Ho Ching Road. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

A relative declined to comment, but said that the family wished to be left alone.

Many people arrived dressed in black as the mourners moved to the void deck for prayers.

Another neighbour, Mr Abdullah Adom, 62, told ST that he heard about the incident at Friday prayers and decided to attend the prayers at the void deck.

“Usually, when something like this happens in the neighbourhood, the Muslim neighbours will come down for prayers to show respect,” said the packaging factory worker.

Mr Muhamad Ashikin’s wife posted on Facebook yesterday that her husband was a good father and son, and asked people to pray for her family.

“Today (Dec 11) is our daughter’s 15th birthday, and (tomorrow) is my sister-in-law’s, (but) she has lost both her parents and her only brother,” she said.

More on this topic

Dos and don’ts when trying to help a victim

It is dangerous to touch someone who has been electrocuted, said experts.

Associate Professor See Kye Yak of the Nanyang Technological University’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering said the person who has been electrocuted would be carrying a high voltage.

“Anyone who is in physical contact with him directly without any insulation will get electrocuted too, especially if the victim’s body is wet, which lowers its resistance to electricity.”

One should use an insulating object, such as a wooden or plastic one, to push the victim away from the contact point with the live electrical source, Prof See added.

He said: “If there are rubber shoes, the person who helps the victim should wear them to be protected from electrocution.”

Meanwhile, Associate Professor Liang Yung Chii of the National University of Singapore’s engineering faculty said that in instances of electric shock, the circuit breaker which detects the leakage current would usually trip and the electrical supply will be interrupted.

However, if the circuit breaker does not detect the leakage current and does not trip, the electricity supply may still be on.

Prof Liang said: “In this case, someone needs to switch off the main electrical supply by turning off the circuit breaker manually. After that, check the person’s health situation, apply cardiopulmonary resuscitation if necessary and call an ambulance if needed.”

Prisca Ang

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