In a heartbreaking incident at SAFRA Yishun in 2021, a volunteer instructor, Muhammad Nurul Hakim Mohamed Din, 23, was sentenced on January 15 to 6 months imprisonment for his role in the death of a 15-year-old student, Jethro Puah Xin Yang, according to Channel NewsAsia.
The tragic incident occurred when Jethro fell from a high-element obstacle course due to improperly buckled harness leg loops. Nurul Hakim, who failed to perform a physical check on the harness, pleaded guilty to causing grievous hurt through a rash act.
Sequence of Events
Jethro and his classmates participated in an outdoor adventure experiential programme at SAFRA Yishun, which included a high-element challenge rope course. Nurul Hakim, a volunteer instructor from Camelot, was responsible for ensuring the safety of the participants.
Nurul Hakim’s crucial role involved conducting a final check on participants’ helmets, harnesses, and safety lines. Unfortunately, he neglected to physically check the leg loops of Jethro’s harness, leading to a critical oversight. Jethro’s leg loops were not properly buckled and adjusted.
Despite expressing fear of heights, Jethro proceeded with the course encouraged by Nurul Hakim. He successfully navigated the first obstacle but encountered difficulties on the second, a postman walk. Due to loose leg loops, Jethro struggled, and both eventually unbuckled, causing him to hang from his shoulder straps.
Because of the harness becoming unbuckled, the boy’s harness moved upwards and suffocated him, ultimately causing his death.
Rescue efforts proved challenging as Jethro’s position made it difficult for instructors to hoist him back onto the course. Despite instructors wrapping safety lines around him, Jethro was unable to breathe properly. Nurul Hakim’s attempt to pull him up was unsuccessful, and Jethro lost consciousness after about eight minutes.
Paramedics arrived more than half an hour after the fall. Jethro was conveyed to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, but severe brain injury, neck bone fractures, heart failure, liver injury, and muscle injuries proved fatal. He succumbed to multiorgan failure caused by suffocation on February 4, 2021.
Nurul Hakim initially faced a charge of committing a rash act leading to culpable homicide. However, he pleaded guilty to causing grievous hurt by failing to ensure the proper buckling and adjustment of Jethro’s leg loops. This omission demonstrated a real risk to Jethro’s life.
Muhammad Nurul Hakim Mohamed Din was sentenced to six months’ jail for his role in the tragic incident. The court emphasized the gravity of his omission, which directly contributed to Jethro’s untimely death. The legal proceedings also highlighted the pending charges against Camelot, the outdoor adventure learning company, and its employee related to the incident.