Woman’s apparent suicide almost kills passing student

By Wu Po-hsuan and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Thu, Mar 07, 2013 - Page 4

A woman in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Tamsui District (淡水) on Thursday last week reportedly committed suicide by jumping from her sister’s residence on the 25th floor and was a fraction of a second away from falling on top of a high-school student, which could have severely injured the student, paramedics said.

According to police investigation, the student, surnamed Chen (陳), left for school and had just walked in front of the convenience store on the apartment block’s ground level when she was startled by the shadow of a falling object right in front of her and the sound it made when it hit the ground.

Chen’s right leg was hit by the object, which she discovered was a person, the police said, adding that while Chen was in shock, security guards informed the police.

Paramedics who arrived on the scene said that Chen was very lucky because she was only 20cm away from the woman surnamed Wang (王), who apparently committed suicide by jumping out of the building.

“According to the impulse-momentum equation, if only 0.1 second elapsed between her fall and landing, the total force generated by Wang would have amounted to 1,955kg,” paramedics said, adding that that was about the weight of an adult hippopotamus.

Chen was accompanied by her mother to the Mackay Memorial Hospital after the incident, but she suffered only from a pulled tendon in her leg, police said.

According to the police, Wang, 52, was unmarried and had a stable job.

She told her elder sister that she was only staying for a few days, police said. Police said Wang’s sister said she did not know why Wang would have committed suicide and she had only found an empty bottle of anti-anxiety medication.

Police are not ruling out that Wang may have suffered from bipolar affective disorder and have come to a preliminary conclusion that Wang committed suicide.