17-year-old dies after falling from fourth-floor linkway at Orchard Central

According to an eyewitness, the teenager fell after he climbed over the railing onto a ledge, which gave way. PHOTO: ST READER
A hole is seen in the ledge beside the fourth-floor walkway linking Orchard Central and Orchard Gateway after a teen fell on Friday (Feb 24). PHOTOS: TWITTER/@TIFFANYTANJA
A hole is seen in the ledge (left) beside the walkway on the fourth floor of Orchard Central after a teenager fell on Friday (Feb 24). PHOTOS: TWITTER/@FARAHFIRZ

SINGAPORE - A teenager died from his injuries after he fell from the fourth-storey linkway at Orchard Central on Friday (Feb 24) afternoon.

He had "vaulted" the 1.2m-high railing of the link bridge, said Ms Mavis Seow, chief operating officer of Far East Organization's retail business group. The property developer owns Orchard Central.

The teen has been identified as Jonathan Chow Hua Guang. The Straits Times understands that the teen was taking a photo along the bridge but the phone fell onto a ledge. He is believed to be trying to retrieve it when he fell.

It is understood that the ledge was a "decorative box" made of plaster board used to cover up trusses and it was non-load bearing. There were no warning signs near the ledge.

Ms Ching Wan Ting, 24, a manager-in-training, was standing near her shop front when the incident happened.

"We heard the sound of concrete cracking, and the body fell there," she said, gesturing to the cordoned-off space about 5m from where she had been earlier.

"My first reaction was to call the ambulance, and after that the trauma of seeing such a thing set in."

Her colleague, Ms Daria Chong, 17, said that the boy landed on his right side, and there was a pool of blood beneath him. She added that they did not hear any screams.

Videos posted online show people helping Jonathan, and one started administering CPR on him before the paramedics arrived.

Members of the public attending to the teenager after he fell from the fourth-storey at Orchard Central on Feb 24, 2017. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM VIDEO / LIANHE ZAOBAO

Photos of the scene sent to The Straits Times and posted on social media showed a hole in the ledge beside the walkway linking the malls on Orchard Road.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was alerted to the incident at 4.05pm.

A young man was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and paramedics administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation en route to the hospital, SCDF said.

Police said that he later died in hospital.

"This afternoon, a member of the public vaulted the railing of the level four link bridge between Orchard Central and Orchard Gateway onto a ledge and subsequently fell to the atrium," said Far East's Ms Seow.

She added: "We are deeply saddened by the tragic incident and our thoughts and prayers are with the family. We are cooperating fully with the authorities on their investigation."

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.