Plea to online users not to circulate photos of boys’ bodies

Graphic photos of the bodies of two boys killed in an accident yesterday are circulating online.

And a number of Ministers and the Tampines Member of the Parliament (MP) have urged people to refrain from doing it.

The tragic accident happened at the junction of Tampines Avenue 9 and Tampines Street 45, near Dunman Secondary School, when a cement truck hit a bicycle with two boys on it.

Police and the Singapore Civil Defence Force told inSing News that they received calls for help at around 5.40pm on Monday 28 January.

The 13-year-old cyclist and his pillion rider, a seven-year-old, were pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Police said the truck driver, a 56-year-old Singaporean male, was arrested for causing death by rash act. Investigations are still ongoing.

After visiting the accident scene, Tampines MP Baey Yam Keng wrote on his Facebook page:  “(I) understand that someone has posted graphic photos of their bodies online. I would like to appeal to netizens not to circulate these photos out of respect for the two boys and consideration for their grieving family.”

Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin echoed the same sentiments: “Please do spare a thought for them. I know that we are in the new media age but where we can, let's exercise sensitivity and respect for families who are distressed. And for the driver too until facts are ascertained.”

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urged the public to “continue to show sensitivity and respect for the family, especially online”.

FLOWERS AT JUNCTION

Earlier this morning, Baey visited the family of the two boys.

He said: “The mother was naturally distraught. Glad to see her family, church friends and SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) counsellors around her to render necessary support,” he said, adding that the funeral will be held on Thursday.

Baey also posted on his Facebook page photos of offerings and flowers that were placed near the traffic junction for the two boys.

Prime Minister Lee wrote on his Facebook page that he was “saddened to learn of the terrible accident” and it is “so tragic that an evening cycle could end like this”.

“My thoughts are with their family. We will render all the help they need to get through this difficult period.”

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat sent his “deepest condolences” to the family, saying:  “The police will investigate this thoroughly, and schools will step up road safety education and work with the police / LTA (Land Transport Authority) on further measures to enhance safety.  Let us be sensitive and respectful, and not circulate photos about the accident. Let us give our thoughts and support to the family in this very difficult time.”

Witnesses of the accident can call the police at 1800-547-1818.



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