More stories from eyewitnesses and victims of the terrifying yatch fire at Sentosa Cove are emerging. An owner of the yatch that went up in flames has shared his account of the ordeal with the Chinese daily and revealed how a birthday celebration turned into a nightmare.
36-year-old Mr Tu Zhen Yi told reporters that he had brought his family and two domestic helpers on board the yatch that was berthed at the One Degree 15 Marina Club last Thursday to celebrate his birthday.
Around 4.30pm, the yatch was apparently refuelling at the fuel dock, but dock technicians found that the tanks could not be filled for some reason. Worried, the technicians requested to check the yatch’s engine and Mr Tu agreed, following their instructions. When he started the engine, however, there was a sudden explosion and flames engulfed the yatch.
Mrs Tu and the couple’s daughter were seated at the wheel, at the time of the explosion. One of their helpers had been fanning the pair while the other helper was seated near the entrance to a room, cradling the family’s sleeping eight-month old son.
When the explosion occurred, the helpers allegedly fled for their lives, leaving the baby behind. Mrs Tu recounted: “It all happened too fast. I turned around and both the maids were nowhere to be found. My husband grabbed our daughter and asked me to run. We ran out and saw that there was a black ‘mass’ lying on the deck.”
Mrs Tu approached the ‘mass’ to investigate and found that it was her baby son, blackened by the soot and smoke, lying face down right beside the burning engine. Mr and Mrs Tu believe that the helpers had dropped the baby as they fled the yatch.
Mrs Tu recalled: “I immediately grabbed my son. Along with my husband who was carrying our daughter, we fled the burning yacht.”
The flames were put out by officers from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and staff from the club’s emergency response team. 15 individuals who were on board the yatch were conveyed to the hospital.