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Hong Kong student jumps to his death in front of 600 people

A Hong Kong student jumped to his death in front of 600 of his fellow pupils, teachers and his younger brother at a school assembly.

world Updated: May 25, 2010 13:39 IST

A Hong Kong student jumped to his death in front of 600 of his fellow pupils, teachers and his younger brother at a school assembly, police said Tuesday.

Wong Ling-fung, 17, leaped seven floors from a staircase Monday at Tung Chung Catholic School just after school began.

Students ran screaming as Wong landed on the outdoor playground where the assembly was being held. He was declared dead at the scene by paramedics.

Police said a note found in his schoolbag said he was unhappy and had a poor relationship with a teacher.

Wong had been diagnosed with psychosis two years ago, a report in The Standard newspaper said, and was taken out of school for a year. The police did not confirm a history of mental illness.

Wong is the eighth Hong Kong student to commit suicide this academic year, the Education Bureau said.

About 1,000 people a year kill themselves in Hong Kong, a densely populated city of seven million people, and jumping from high buildings is the most common form of suicide.

Last month, a 37-year-old teacher jumped to her death on a secondary school playground in front of about 20 children.

Despite a fall in the overall suicide rate from a peak of around 1,200 a year in 2003, the number of young people killing themselves has increased.

Sociologists blamed high study loads and pressure from parents to succeed, particularly in the run-up to spring and summer exams.