Woman threatens to jump from Hong Kong building over HK$200,000 in unpaid wages, prompting day-long stand-off

  • Police and firefighters deployed as woman hangs dangerously from scaffolding at Elizabeth House in Causeway Bay
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2018, 9:51am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2018, 2:37pm

A woman threatened to jump from a Hong Kong building over unpaid wages, resulting in a day-long stand-off with police and firefighters.

Police received a report from the woman’s colleague at 12.10pm on Monday saying she was threatening to jump from the roof of a building in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island.

As of 8.30am on Tuesday, the woman was still hanging dangerously from the building’s scaffolding, police said.

By noon on Tuesday, the woman had gone back inside the building.

“She returned to a safe location inside the flat and did not sustain any injuries,” a police spokeswoman said.

The building, Elizabeth House, has several floors of commercial space and about 20 residential floors.

The woman was reportedly asking for about HK$200,000 (US$25,600) in unpaid wages.

A negotiator was sent to the scene to persuade the woman to come down.

Police added the woman had “disappeared” for a while after hours of confrontation on Monday but reappeared on the building’s scaffolding at about 7am on Tuesday.

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The northbound lane on Percival Street, which was closed to traffic due to the incident, was reopened shortly after noon, according to the Transport Department.

The case has been classified as an attempted suicide.

If you, or someone you know, are having suicidal thoughts, help is available. For Hong Kong, dial +852 2896 0000 for The Samaritans or +852 2382 0000 for Suicide Prevention Services. In the US, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on +1 800 273 8255. For a list of other nations’ helplines, see this page