Korean woman died after drinking game at KTV

SINGAPORE - A 27-year-old South Korean model on holiday in Singapore collapsed after drinking an excessive amount of alcohol in a short span of time at a stranger's party in a KTV in the early hours of May 12 this year. She died in hospital the next day.

A forensic pathologist later found 310mg of alcohol per 100ml of her blood - almost four times the legal limit for drink-driving - an amount which is deadly.

This, despite Ms Kim Seoa having a low tolerance for alcohol, and not being a habitual drinker.

Her final cause of death was certified as "acute alcohol intoxication".

On Friday, a Coroner's court heard from police investigation officer Fiona Lim that Ms Kim arrived here on a social visit pass in April, and planned to go back in late May.

She stayed with a female Korean friend, who worked as a public relations officer at The Prestige KTV in Merchant Road.

At about 11pm on May 11, Ms Kim went to the KTV on her friend's invitation to join the birthday party of a customer, Mr Low Kok Hoong.

Mr Low's party comprised a group of about 20 colleagues and friends.

Guests sang, played pool, chatted among themselves and drank from bottles of brandy. At about midnight, a birthday cake was cut and two Champagne bottles opened.

At around 12.30am on May 12, Mr Low's friend from Hong Kong, Mr Billy Kon, decided to play a drinking game. He took out some $7,000 in $50 notes from his sling bag, and offered to give a note each to any woman for each shot of alcohol they drank.

Some drank straight from shot glasses, while others poured a few shots into their brandy glasses before drinking.

The drinking was voluntary, and Ms Kim was seen pouring about 10 to 12 shots into her glass, and downing the alcohol.

The game lasted about half an hour and Ms Kim was later seen sleeping on a sofa, first sitting up and then lying down.

Later, someone spotted vomit coming out of her nose and mouth, and a friend helped to clean her up.

Shortly after, at about 1.30am, her lips turned purple and she was not responsive. The KTV's operations manager performed cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but stopped when she vomited again.

Paramedics arrived shortly after, at about 1.40am. They could not detect any pulse, breathing, or cardiac electrical activity on her. CPR was performed en route to hospital, where she died the next day, on May 13.

Some 20 $50 notes were later found on her.

Police found no evidence of foul play, Ms Lim said, and was of the view that Ms Kim succumbed to effects of alcohol overconsumption, from "an excessive amount of alcohol at the KTV within a short span of time during the game with an enticing monetary offer". State Coroner Marvin Bay will deliver his findings next Wednesday.

amirh@sph.com.sg