Teen, 17, dies after basketball backboard structure falls on him in Bedok

The fallen basketball structure near Block 18 Bedok South Road, on July 27, 2021. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID
People look at the fallen basketball structure near Block 18 Bedok South Road on July 27, 2021. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID
The police said they were called at about 8.45pm and found the injured teen next to a fallen basketball structure near Block 18 Bedok South Road. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

SINGAPORE - A 17-year-old died after a basketball backboard structure in Bedok fell on him on Monday (July 26) night.

The police said they were called at about 8.45pm and found the injured teen next to the fallen structure near Block 18 Bedok South Road.

"A 17-year-old male teenager was unconscious when conveyed to the hospital, where he subsequently died from his injuries," the police told ST on Tuesday.

They are investigating the case of unnatural death.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was also called, and took the boy to Changi General Hospital (CGH).

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was conducted on him while he was being taken to CGH, said the SCDF.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday morning, the East Coast Town Council said: "Based on the initial information received, a basketball hoop structure had collapsed and fell onto one of the users of the court. For the safety of our residents, we have closed the basketball court with immediate effect so as to conduct a thorough check on the integrity of all structures there."

Chairman of East Coast Town Council Jessica Tan told ST that the town council is contacting the family to offer support and assistance.

Ms Tan added: "For now, what we know is that the concrete slabs of the basketball court were reconstructed, along with the installation of new hoop structure in April 2020."

She said that the basketball court has been closed to conduct structural checks.

The town council said it is cooperating with police investigations and urged those with more information on what had happened to contact Bedok Police Division on 1800-244-0000.

ST understands that the boy was a student of the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central.

When ST arrived at the basketball court at about 10.30am on Tuesday, the fallen structure and a large stain of dried blood were seen.

The fallen basketball structure near Block 18 Bedok South Road on July 27, 2021. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

The area was cordoned off by uniformed police officers as many residents looked on.

A resident, who wished to be known only as Ms Yap, said that she heard a loud bang on Monday night and went to the corridor to take a look.

The 58-year-old housewife told ST in Mandarin: "I saw a lot of people crowding around the court. The boy was lying there with a lot of blood and people were resuscitating him."

At about 11am on Tuesday, six men from a contracted company removed the structure from the court.

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Deputy Prime Minister and MP for East Coast GRC Heng Swee Keat was spotted at the basketball court at 11.45am speaking to residents.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday afternoon, DPM Heng wrote that he had visited the teenager's family and offered his condolences.

"I heard from them about their love for their son and their pride in his achievements. Words cannot fully describe what they are going through. The sudden loss has been extremely difficult for his family and friends," he wrote.

"We are giving them our fullest support, and I urge everyone not to circulate videos or pictures of the incident," he added.

DPM Heng wrote that the town council general manager had also briefed him on how they are inspecting sports and recreational structures in East Coast, and the town council will provide updates on this.

"All our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time of grief," he wrote.

Mr Heng Swee Keat (second from right) speaking to residents at the basketball court on July 27, 2021. ST PHOTO: YEO SHU HUI

In a video uploaded by Facebook user Ak Ong onto the Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao's page last night, the basketball hoop structure can be seen completely uprooted from the ground.

Several onlookers watched as paramedics administered CPR to the boy lying on the court.

Student Mohamad Izzry Jusri, 17, said that he heard from a friend of the victim that he had made a dunk and held onto the basketball hoop, which was shaky, and the whole structure fell on him.

Police officers at the scene, on July 27, 2021. PHOTO: ST READER

Mr Mohammad Herman Al Jufri Khalil, 19, a student, said he went to the basketball court at around 8.30pm on Monday to look for the victim. He saw his friend lying motionless in a pool of blood and one of their friends trying to resuscitate him.

"I was very shocked," said Mr Herman. "My friend was saying: 'Please wake up. Please wake up.' He was in a very bad condition."

Mr Herman added that he felt very sad about losing his friend. He said: "He was a good person. He respected old people. He joked around with his friends but also took care of them."

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