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Student, 16, drinks at Ce La Vi, falls from MBS hotel room balcony, dies – Mothership.SG

By Vaseline May31,2024

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Warning: This article contains descriptions of suicide. Reader discretion is advised.

A 16-year-old international student died after falling from the balcony of a hotel room at the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) Hotel on August 10, 2023.

He had been drinking at the hotel’s Ce La Vi club before his death.

According to a coroner’s investigation to investigate his death, the student, Gao Yuye, was found drunk at the club and police were eventually notified.

He fell to his death after police officers took him back to his room to retrieve his belongings.

You can drink at Ce La Vi even if you are underage

According to the coroner’s findings of May 17, seen by Mothershipthe incident happened in the early hours of the morning on August 10, 2023.

Gao, who came from China, studied with his sister in Singapore.

They stayed with their mother and grandmother at the MBS Hotel during a school holiday, in a room booked by Gao’s great-uncle.

On August 9, Gao’s mother brought his grandmother back to the family apartment because she was not feeling well, leaving the siblings alone at the hotel.

Later that same evening, Gao Ce visited La Vi at MBS with his sister and her boyfriend.

They were both only a year older than him and therefore neither of them were of legal age to purchase alcohol.

Nevertheless, they managed to purchase alcohol at the bar, and Gao drank at least one glass of beer and six other alcoholic drinks ranging from shots to cocktails.

Found in a puddle of vomit

On August 10 around 12:52 p.m., Gao was found alone, face down in a puddle of vomit, and a bar security official was notified.

His sister and friend left the bar without him, claiming he said he wanted to stay.

The security guard tried to wake him up, but he initially did not respond. Then Gao woke up, but did not respond to questions.

Two other security officers arrived, but Gao, who was covered in vomit, remained very drunk and mumbling gibberish.

They sprinkled water on him to wash away some of the vomit and try to sober him up.

After putting him in a wheelchair, the security officers searched Gao’s belongings and found an MBS key card and his student card.

Finally they decided to take him back to his room.

Security officers tried to take him back to his room

CCTV footage showed Gao slumping in his wheelchair as he was wheeled to his hotel room.

However, when they arrived at around 1:42 am, the security guards knocked on the door and pressed the room bell, but there was no response.

The security guards working at the counter instead called the MBS security guards for help.

An MBS security official arrived to take over Gao and decided to wheel him into the lobby.

CCTV footage showed that while in the elevator, Gao became agitated and used his feet to push against the elevator floor while waving his arms.

At one point he fell to the ground, but was helped back into the wheelchair.

They arrived at the lobby around 2:03 am. CCTV footage showed Gao slumped over in the wheelchair.

40 minutes later, at around 2.47am, MBS staff decided to call the paramedics, who arrived after receiving the message: “Male/35 years old/drunk”.

When paramedics asked Gao for his identity, he said his ID card was in his hotel room.

They tried to check him paramedically, but he was uncooperative, refusing to allow the checks and yelling at them.

The findings did not reveal whether they were aware of his student card that previous security officers had found on him and what his actual age was.

Police warned

Since Gao was uncooperative, the paramedics asked for police help. Two police officers arrived around 3:22 am.

According to one of the police officers, Gao appeared to be “sober” and told them that he was staying at MBS in a room booked by his parents and that he had been drinking at Ce La Vi.

When the police officer asked him for his ID, he told them it was in his room and agreed to go back to the hotel room with them to retrieve it.

CCTV footage showed that although Gao appeared to be able to communicate with the police officer, he needed help picking up his personal items which had fallen to the ground as they were being handed to him.

He also walked with an unsteady gait on the way back to his room, but he was apparently still able to communicate with the officers.

When they reached the hotel room around 3:35 a.m., Gao opened the room with his room card and entered while the officers waited outside with the door ajar.

Less than a minute later, a security guard smoking nearby heard a loud noise before finding Gao on the ground.

There is evidence that he climbed over the balcony of his own accord

According to the police officers’ bodycam footage, when Gao did not appear from the room for about a minute, one of the officers decided to enter the room to check on him, but found that he had already fallen from the balcony.

Forensic officers found the indentation of a foot in the ground of a footpad on the balcony, and prints on a glass barrier indicating that someone had held the top part of the railing with their hands.

The coroner found that Gao had no psychiatric or psychological problems. His family and guardians described him as “sensible, mature, polite, optimistic and happy”, while his teacher said he was an average student and did not worry about his grades.

However, his sister claimed she remembered him dealing with relationship issues with his partner abroad but he had not addressed it.

The coroner ruled that there was no foul play and that Gao had climbed over the balcony of his own accord.

He noted that no evidence was found that police or security officers treated Gao harshly or unprofessionally, nor was there evidence that Gao had shown signs of planning to commit suicide.

“This intention may have manifested itself on a whim, but it could also have existed for some time,” the coroner said.

“Unfortunately, we’ll never know.”

Regarding the issue of Ce La Vi allowing minors to purchase alcohol at their bar, investigations revealed that staff did not check Gao’s identification because “no one had any suspicion that he was a minor.”

Ce La Vi was charged with permitting the consumption of liquor by a person under the age of 18 under the Public Entertainments Act and had paid a fine with demerit points imposed.

The coroner stressed that the sudden death of an otherwise healthy young person is always a tragedy and stressed that for people with suicidal thoughts, help will always be available from their family and/or friends, from doctors or from organizations that can provide help. 24 hour assistance.

Helplines

If you or someone you know is in mental distress, here are some hotlines you can call for help, advice, or just a listening ear:

SOS 24-hour hotline: 1-767

Singapore Mental Health Association: 1800-283-7019

Institute for Mental Health: 6389-2222 (24 hours)

Tinkel friend: 1800-274-4788 (for primary school age children)

SHECARES@SCWO: Call: 8001 01 4616 | WhatsApp: 6571 4400 (for targets of online harm)

Top image from Unsplash

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