Man dies after broken shower glass pierced his neck: Coroner

He slipped, smashed his head through the glass panel of a bathroom door and later died.

Sebastian Wong Yu Lun was only 24 when he died in the most horrific way on Jan 25, in front of a frantic girlfriend who was helpless to save him.

Details of the tragedy emerged in a inquiry into his death yesterday.

When Mr Wong hit the glass panel, the sharp broken edges impaled his neck. He also had multiple cuts on his head.

Mr Wong, a car salesman, had been taking a shower with his girlfriend, identified only as Ms L, at her flat at Teban Gardens Road.

As Mr Wong was about to leave the shower, he slipped.

Ms L was shocked to hear the glass panel shatter and frantically tried to free Mr Wong when she realised he was injured and trapped.

Her sister, who was not named in court papers, called emergency services as Ms L fought to free her boyfriend. After a struggle, she managed to free him and he fell flat on his back.

He was still conscious but struggling as she propped him into a sitting position.

She dressed herself and used a towel to suppress the bleeding.

State Coroner Marvin Bay said: "She noted, however, that Mr Wong stopped his struggles and appeared to lose consciousness after five minutes, lying unconscious on the floor.

"Ms L tried to perform CPR by giving chest compressions in accordance with instructions by an SCDF (Singapore Civil Defence Force) operator through the phone and relayed by her sister."

WEAK PULSE

A paramedic who had arrived at the scene detected a weak pulse and the ambulance took Mr Wong to hospital, but he could not be saved.

He was pronounced dead about 40 minutes after the accident.

Mr Wong had suffered multiple incised wounds to the head and neck, said consultant forensic pathologist Marian Wang, which led to his death.

She also said that Mr Wong died of multiple incised wounds to the head and neck.

Coroner Bay said: "The nature of the incised wounds was found to be consistent with those caused by sharp, broken glass fragments."

He found that Mr Wong had died from an "unfortunate misadventure".

Following the tragedy, senior forensic scientist Li Yuhua from the Forensic Chemistry and Physics Laboratory of the Health Sciences Authority, produced a report on the analysis of the glass fracture.

It revealed that the panel was not made of tempered glass.

Instead, Coroner Bay said that it was likely to be made of heat-strengthened glass.

In his findings, he added that it may be prudent to use tempered glass panels on doors or windows in places where falls may commonly occur.

He said: "Tempered glass fragments are less likely to have sharp edges (when broken), which may help to avoid the occurrence of catastrophic or even fatal injuries, upon any person breaking or shattering glass fixtures.

ashaffiq@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on September 29, 2015.
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