Fire at Hong Kong public housing estate injures four after man aborts suicide attempt
- The 37-year-old man, surnamed Chi, was in hospital with severe burns
A man jumped downstairs in search of help after cutting the gas tube in his public housing flat on Tuesday, in an apparent suicide attempt which sparked a fire injuring three other men and forcing 750 residents to evacuate.
The 37-year-old man, surnamed Chi, suffered severe burns and was in a critical condition at Prince of Wales Hospital.
The fire broke out on the 15th floor of Tin Hor House at Tin Ping Estate in Sheung Shui at about 4.40am.
A fire service spokeswoman said its staff found fire accelerants at the scene. The blaze was put out at 5.19am.
A police insider said officers suspected Chi was trying to kill himself as he cut the gas tube in the flat. When the flat exploded, the source added, Chi jumped one floor down from the window to the 14th floor and called for help.
“The neighbour one floor down took him into the flat and called 999. We suspect that he had attempted suicide,” the insider said, adding that Chi was the only person in his flat at the time of the incident.
A police spokesman said Chi was rushed to hospital and that 750 residents of the estate had to be evacuated.
“The other three tenants, from the same block, felt uncomfortable after inhaling smoke and were sent to North District Hospital,” he said.
In all, 13 fire trucks, five ambulances, two pairs of water jets and an array of breathing apparatus were sent to the scene.