A 14-year-old schoolboy escaped death yesterday when he fell three floors down a stairwell while trying to slide down the rails. The Form Three student at the elite La Salle College in Kowloon Tong was in serious condition at Queen Elizabeth Hospital last night. The dramatic fall happened at about 2.10pm when a teacher sent him and a classmate from their fourth-floor classroom to the teachers' room on the second floor to collect exercise books. 'He was seen sitting on the railing of the staircase and sliding down before he lost his balance and fell,' a police spokeswoman said. The student, identified only as Li, landed on the ground floor of the school's five-storey block. 'He remained conscious after the fall,' deputy principal Cecilia Tang Chung-pin said. 'He suffered scratches to his hands and legs, and also injured his shoulder. 'The stairwell is narrow. It is possible that the collision between his body and the railing of the stairwell broke the force of his fall.' Ms Tang said it was the first such accident at the school. 'It's so high where he fell down. Considering his external injuries, he had a lucky escape.' She said they were investigating the incident and that the school had cordoned off the staircases. To prevent similar accidents, Ms Tang said: 'We are discussing with the Education Bureau to fix some nets on each floor of the stairwell as emergency work.' She said the railings on the staircases were about waist-high.