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China: Around The Nation

Chinese man saves wife from suicide fall by grabbing ponytail

Woman partially suspended from rooftop for about three minutes before police arrived to pull her to safety, newspaper reports

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 February, 2017, 12:54pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 February, 2017, 3:50pm

A man from central China saved his suicidal wife who jumped off a building by grabbing her ponytail at the last moment to stop her from falling.

The woman from Shiquan county in Shaanxi province was partially suspended in the air for about three minutes, with her husband clutching her hair on the building’s roof, before police arrived and saved her, the Chinese Business View reported.

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The woman in her 30s jumped off the 20-metre tall building after a family dispute on Sunday, according to the article. The couple are tenants of an apartment on the top floor of the building.

A police officer, Zuo Yu, told the newspaper: “When we arrived, we saw her husband grasping her ponytail, but his hand had clearly slipped to near its end. If we were late by a few seconds or her husband couldn’t hold on to her hair for a few more seconds, it might have been impossible to save her.”

A video circulated on the internet shows a police officer climbing over a barrier to reach the woman, with colleagues holding on to his clothes to stop him falling.

The husband was also outside the barrier holding on to his wife’s hair, with officers keeping him safe by pulling the hood of his jacket.

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Police added that part of the woman’s body was resting on a 30cm-wide pipe, which took part of her body weight. Police said that without the support given by the pipe, the woman would have fallen despite her husband’s efforts.

The woman, who was then highly emotional, was constantly screaming “let go” to her husband during the incident, even after the police managed to seize one of her arms, the article said.

The newspaper cited studies saying about 2,000 hairs can in theory hold up to 30kg in weight, but the scalp’s ability to carry weight is limited.