Sun, Jul 19, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Pair asked to pay for damage caused by suicide attempt

NEAR DEATH The couple were found unconscious near a heap of burning charcoal in a motel room in Taipei after staff at the motel became suspicious

DPA

A couple rescued from a suicide attempt at a motel on Friday have been asked to pay the motel NT$1 million (US$30,428) for the damage they caused.

The man and woman, aged 26 and 25 respectively, checked into a motel in Taipei at about 3am on Friday.

Once inside, they began drinking beer and lit a charcoal fire in an apparent attempt to kill themselves by smoke inhalation, local media reported.

Three hours later, the motel’s reception desk received a signal from the smoke detector in the couple’s room.

Hotel staff called the room to ask whether there was a problem, but the woman responded that the two were only smoking.

They became suspicious, however, and called police, who entered the room and found the couple lying unconscious and a heap of charcoal burning on the wooden floor.

Police rushed the couple to a hospital, where they received treatment and recovered.

They declined to answer questions about why they attempted suicide.

The couple was charged with damaging public property and endangering the lives of others.

Now, the motel is seeking compensation.

“They must compensate us for burning our wooden floor, furniture and electronic appliances, for the cost of repair, for lost business during the time of repair and for damaging our motel’s reputation,” a spokesman for the motel said.

In Taiwan, houses where people have committed suicide or been killed are taboo, with some people believing that these premises are haunted and those who live in them may fall ill or die an unnatural death.

A Taiwan real estate agent has launched an “Unlucky House” Web site where potential house buyers can inquire whether a house or apartment they are interested in has been the scene of any unnatural deaths.

The public can also post information about properties for sale on the Web site.

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