Feared dead after fall, Nigerian alive but critically ill

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 July, 2009, 12:00am

The Nigerian man who was feared dead yesterday after falling from a window while fleeing police is still alive but in critical condition.

A doctor at Guangzhou Military District Main Hospital said Emmanuel Egisimba had suffered severe head injuries.

'His head is seriously injured. His life is in danger,' said the doctor, who would not give his name.

When the South China Morning Post visited the hospital yesterday, he was not guarded by any police officers in the intensive-care ward and no friends or relatives were present.

Mr Egisimba's younger brother Richard, who also lives in Guangzhou, told the Post his brother's condition would have been better if he had been sent to the hospital immediately after he was injured.

'My brother was sent to the hospital at 5pm. I believe he would be better off if he had been sent to the hospital earlier,' he said, adding police had told him they would pay for medical expenses. Mr Egisimba was injured at about 3pm.

Another doctor said he had arrived between 5.30pm and 6.30pm.

A video obtained by the Post showed companions carrying Mr Egisimba to a nearby police station to protest, instead of taking him immediately to a hospital.

Up to 200 angry Africans surrounded Kuangquan police station shortly after 3pm on Wednesday after Mr Egisimba and another Nigerian jumped from a second-floor window in Tangqi Foreign Trade Clothes Plaza. The identity and condition of the second Nigerian were not clear yesterday. According to a police statement, both men had overstayed their visas.

During the protest on Wednesday, which blocked a street and stopped traffic on Guangyuan Xi Road, the Africans complained that police checked their visas every day and would not renew them.

Police on Wednesday said the men were sought because it was suspected they were involved in illegal currency exchange.

'Police officers were carrying out a security check at an apparel wholesale market when an African who was suspected of conducting illegal currency-exchange business hurt his back trying to escape from a broken window.

'The police found another man lying on the ground later. He is seriously hurt,' a statement said.

The protesters, most of whom were from Nigeria, refused to leave the police station until their consulate gave them assurances that the police would launch an investigation.

The Nigerian embassy in Beijing would not comment on the incident.

I believe he would be better off if he had been sent to the hospital earlier

Richard Egisimba, brother of injured Emmanuel Egisimba