4 workers comprising of 3 electrical technicians and a driver, were deployed to work at a building, where the occupant was moving to another location the following day.
However, they decided to steal electrical cables from the work site, resulting in the 27-year-old driver Murugan Kothalam being electrocuted to death.
The three technicians; 26-year-old Ezhilarasan Nagarajan, 28-year-old Radhakrishnan Elavarasan and 29-year-old Balasubramaniyan Nivas, each pleaded guilty on 6 February to one count of attempted theft.
The former two were fined $1,000 while the latter, who had another charge considered during his sentencing, was fined $1,500.
Elavarasan and Nivas both worked for Alltech Systems, and on 15 October 2020 at about 10.30am, were sent to the Police National Service Department building in Still Road.
They were tasked with dismantling the distribution board boxes, hose reel boxes and projector stands from the main and annex buildings.
Elavarasan and Nivas were aware that they were not supposed to cut or remove any cables, and they went to the main building to commence their work without being escorted by the building security.
Nivas noticed that there were a lot of loose electric cables hanging from the ceiling and decided to steal them, telling Elavarsan his plan to sell the cables.
The duo then started pulling and cutting the cables to remove them.
Nagarajan and Kothalam, who were workers of STIE, were told by their supervisor to pass a wrench to the other two men for them to remove the hose reel box.
Nagarajan then met up with Kothalam, who went to the PNSD annex building and found the cables hanging from the ceiling, and they started pulling and cutting the electric cables as the other two men came to check on them.
Nagarajan and Elavarasan then tied the cables up in bundles before going to the main building to remove the hose reel, while the other two continued to remove the electric cables in the annex building.
Nivas later heard a loud crashing sound at about 1pm, and found Kothalam standing on a ladder in one of the rooms; he was not moving and the ladder was shaking.
He suspected that Kothalam had been electrocuted and kicked the ladder away, and Kothalam then fell onto the ground.
He then tried to resuscitate Kothalam after alerting the other two men, and Elavarasan then called the SCDF for help.
Kothalam was then sent to Changi General Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries and died later that day.
A coroner’s inquiry into Kothalam’s death found that he died from electrocution.