Elderly couple and son die after suspected electrocution incident in Lakeside flat

The bodies being removed from the flat in Ho Ching Road on Thursday. Police were alerted to the unnatural deaths at about 4.15pm that day.
The bodies being removed from the flat at Block 120 Ho Ching Road.

SINGAPORE - An 80-year-old man, his wife, 66, and their son, 45, died following an incident in the elderly couple's flat in Lakeside on Thursday (Dec 10).

The police said no foul play is suspected and they were alerted to the case of unnatural death at Block 120 Ho Ching Road 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 paramedics arrived, and was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and later pronounced dead.

The police are investigating their deaths.

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

Their son, Mr Muhamad Ashikin Omar, had gone to visit them with his 15-year-old daughter, according to a family friend who spoke to Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News.

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

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

A neighbour, who wished 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 in the unit 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."

A funeral held at a relative's house at Kang Ching Road, in the vicinity of the incident, was under way when ST arrived.

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

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

A relative of the family declined to comment, adding that the family wished to be left alone.

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

A 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.

On Facebook, the wife of Mr Muhamad Ashikin said her husband was a good father and son, and asked for her family to be kept in prayer.

"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.

What to do when someone has been electrocuted

Experts said it is dangerous to touch someone who has been electrocuted.

Associate Professor See Kye Yak from Nanyang Technological University's School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering said the person who has been electrocuted carries 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 is a rubber shoe, the person who helps the victim should wear it to be protected from electrocution."

Meanwhile, Associate Professor Liang Yung Chii from 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."

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