A Snapchat stunt went horribly wrong after Singapore teen Jonathan Chow jumped over the railing in Orchard Central mall and fell four floors to this death.
The 17-year-old’s friend, Ruth, who was recording the stunt, said Chow wanted to take a video of each other leaping over the mall’s banister to a ledge below that he believed was made of concrete.
It turned out that the ledge was actually made of plasterboard, which collapsed underneath the teenager’s weight.
“We both thought the ledge was made of concrete, but when he jumped, he fell straight through,” Ruth told local a news outlet TODAY. “I knew it was dangerous, but before I could stop him, he already jumped over. I swear I wanted to jump over too but I knew it was too late.”
Her friend’s final words reportedly before he jumped were: “Help me take a Snapchat video and I’ll jump.”
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Initial reports suggested Chow had accidentally dropped his phone over the banister and jumped to try to retrieve it.
But surveillance footage released by Orchard Central shows Ruth taking a smartphone out to film the stunt and her shocked reaction when Chow fell.
According to Complex, the tragic moment has sparked a heated debate on social media, with netizens divided over who is to blame for the 17-year-old’s death.
“To give an illusion that the [ledge] was concrete was a foolish thing,” one user commented. “[A] sign should have been placed there lest people attempt to retrieve fallen items. A young life gone too soon.”
Some believe that Chow is solely at fault for the incident, saying that, “A glass barrier of 1.2m was [there]… the fault lies entirely on the teen himself and nobody else.”
Others blame the so-called “YOLO generation,” where people do incredibly dangerous stunts for views on the Internet.
Chow’s friends and family remembered him as having a cheery personality and sense of humor.
His father, Matthew, was shocked to find out about his son’s death last Friday, but he did not blame Ruth for what occurred.
Chow had been studying in Australia, but returned home to Singapore in December to await his national service.
He is set to be cremated on Thursday.