A security guard of rooftop bar 1-Altitude who fell into a 4m-deep pit and died on Sunday was apparently trying to keep two customers away from a barricaded area, colleagues who witnessed the accident told his family.
Mr Shaun Tung, 26, had spotted the duo entering the cordoned-off area just after midnight on Sunday and run across in an attempt to stop them. He likely did not know there was a hole in the ground, his family told The Straits Times last night.
Mr Tung is a part-time guard at the alfresco bar on the roof of One Raffles Place, a 63-storey building.
Police had classified the case as unnatural death, and investigations are ongoing. The police had said the hole was a construction manhole.
Meanwhile, the building's owner, OUB Centre, and the Manpower Ministry said the accident happened in an area cordoned off for exterior building cleaning works.
It is not known if the hole was covered at the time of the accident, and who the two trespassers were.
Mr Tung, a father of a two-year-old son, was cremated yesterday evening.
In an interview at the family home in Punggol, his parents and older sister said they are seeking answers on the circumstances surrounding his death.
Mr Tung had worked part time at 1-Altitude for about a year and did one to two night shifts a month.
His father Tung Kim Swee, 64, who is a surveyor, visited the site on the fateful Sunday and estimated the rectangular hole was about 1.3m wide and 1.6m long. He also said the area was unlit, and he had no idea the hole was there until it was pointed out to him. The hole was not covered when he saw it.
"Nobody could explain to us why the hole was there. They just said it was for upgrading works," he added.
Mr Tung's sister Rebecca, 30, a flight attendant, said it was likely her brother was not told about it before he started his shift.
She added that her family is at a loss over who is at fault. "We really don't know anything, and no amount of 'sorrys' is enough.
"All we ask for is justice."
She said her brother was very hard-working. He was a full-time gym trainer and had two other part-time jobs. He had been taking night classes for a diploma in sport coaching for the past two years.
His mother Chan Lian Poh, 59, said tearfully: "My heart is very bitter, I don't know how I will move on. He told me he would take care of me and my husband in our old age. But... he has already left us."
• Additional reporting by Salome Ong
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.