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AP: Passer-by pushes suicide jumper in China


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Man Pushes Suicide

Jumper Off Bridge

* By The Associated Press

BEIJING - Chen Fuchao, a man heavily in debt, had been contemplating suicide on a bridge in southern China for hours when a passer-by came up, shook his hand -- and pushed him off the ledge.

Chen fell 26 feet onto a partially inflated emergency air cushion laid out by authorities and survived, suffering spine and elbow injuries, the official Xinhua News Agency said Saturday.

The passer-by, 66-year-old Lai Jiansheng, had been fed up with what he called Chen's "selfish activity," Xinhua said. Traffic around the Haizhu bridge in the city of Guangzhou had been backed up for five hours and police had cordoned off the area.

"I pushed him off because jumpers like Chen are very selfish. Their action violates a lot of public interest," Lai was quoted as saying by Xinhua. "They do not really dare to kill themselves. Instead, they just want to raise the relevant government authorities' attention to their appeals."

Xinhua said Lai was "taken away by police" but did not elaborate.

A police officer who answered the telephone Saturday at a station close to the bridge confirmed the incident and said it was under investigation. He refused to give any other details and hung up.

According to Xinhua, Chen wanted to kill himself because he had accrued $290,000 in debt from a failed construction project.

On Thursday, he made his way to the Haizhu bridge, where 11 other people have tried to take their lives since April.

Lai volunteered to talk Chen down but was turned away by police, Xinhua said. Lai then broke through the cordon, climbed to where Chen sat, greeted him with a handshake, then pushed.

Photos in the Beijing Morning Post showed Lai, shoeless and in a T-shirt, saluting after Chen fell.

The paper said Lai was released on bail Friday but did not give any details. It said he had been on medication for "a mental illness" for decades and had been on his way to a hospital for his pills.

Chen was recovering in the hospital, Xinhua said.

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If you were going to commit suicide, why would you pick a place to jump from that was only 26 feet high? Wouldn't you find a taller structure?

His intention was not to commit suicide, but just to get attention.

I say that because that was the basic reason why the other guy pushed him off, according to him, because he was sick of his attention whoring and traffic problems he created. The supposed suicider had apparently done this numerous times.

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I search back to the 23rd to see if it was posted. I was on "vacation" back then and missed it.

Whats funny is some of those stuck in traffic applauded.



Chen, 32, claimed he was two million Yuan in debt because of a failed Guangzhou construction project, and was threatening to jump from the bridge only to get attention. His actions caused a nearly five-hour-long traffic jam.

66-year-old Li, a former soldier, broke through police lines and climbed up to where Chen sat, greeting him with a handshake before suddenly pushing the man off the bridge railing. Li said later he took the action because "jumpers like Chen are very selfish and a waste of public resources."

Some passersby applauded Li's actions, while others accused him of irrational behavior.

(By Jessie Hwang, Stephen Roach)

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