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Verdict out on cheerleader's death

Coroner says role of 'spotters' should have included helping to break fall

Published on Apr 16, 2014 7:58 AM
Qing Xiang was attempting a gymnastic manoeuvre when he landed on his back and head. He died two weeks later. -- PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF LAI QING XIANG

Two "spotters" who assisted a fellow cheerleader in performing a gymnastic manoeuvre which ended in his death believed their role was merely to help him carry out a back handspring.

However, the State Coroner yesterday said it was "too simplistic" to think that Mr Vincent Lam and Mr Eugene Eng were there only to support him as he tried to fall backwards onto a crash mat, land on his hands and push himself up to land back on his feet.

Their duties should have included helping to mitigate his fall or performing rescue duties if the need arose, and it would be "not logical" to think otherwise, said Mr Imran Abdul Hamid.

The coroner gave his verdict yesterday in the tragic case of 18-year-old Ngee Ann Polytechnic student Lai Qing Xiang, who died after last August's lesson.

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