Teenager electrocuted in shower died of misadventure, coroner finds

SINGAPORE - The death of a 17-year-old electrocuted while taking a shower was ruled to be misadventure by a state coroner on Thursday.

On Aug 29 last year, Gregory Ng Kok Rui, a recent graduate of the Institute of Technical Education who was waiting for his national service call-up, went to take a shower at his home at around 10.15pm.

Five minutes later, his family members heard him shouting before rushing to find him motionless on the floor of the kitchen bathroom.

He was taken to Changi General Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

In February, a coroner's inquiry into his death found that he could have received the fatal electric shock when his left hand came into contact with an electrically energised metallic shower outlet hose that was attached to a water heater.

On Thursday, State Coroner Marvin Bay said that no foul play was suspected and ruled that he sustained a fatal shock when he touched the energised hose.

The likely fault was that there was an overheating of a socket outlet terminal, causing the metallic hose to be energised to a dangerous voltage. At the same time, there was also a fault in the residual current circuit breaker, a safety device which prevents electrocution by cutting off electricity supply once there is any leakage in the power circuit.

Coroner Bay added that police are investigating taxi driver and freelance techninican Beh Kim Ek, who installed the water heater about three months earlier.

Coroner Bay said: "The simple installation works undertaken by Mr Beh do not fulfil the strict definition of 'electric works' regulated by the Energy Market Authority.

"This case underscores the importance of obtaining competent and qualified technicians when undertaking the installation of even simple electrical fittings in one's own domicile and business premises."