A 5-year-old girl was reportedly killed by a falling suicide jumper in a South Korean port city.
The girl was crushed by the body of a 38-year-old man who leapt from the 11th story of his apartment building in the southeastern city of Busan on Wednesday night, CNN reports. The man died immediately, and the girl was pronounced dead from a skull fracture at a local hospital.
South Korea, which has a population of 49 million, has the highest suicide rate in the developed world. As Seoul-based Arirang News reported late last year, the percentage of South Koreans who take their own lives is 2.6 times higher than the average suicide rate among the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an association of wealthy, industrialized nations.
A recent report showed that suicide was the leading cause of death among South Koreans aged 15-24 in 2011, ahead of cancer, heart disease and car accidents, according to The Korea Herald.
The South Korean Ministry of Health said complex socio-economic pressures, an aging population and the growing number of one-person households were all contributing causes to the country's high suicide rate, the Singapore-based Straits Times reported last year.
Protective measures, like screens at subway platforms and comforting messages on bridges, have been implemented in an attempt to dissuade jumpers. Nevertheless, South Korea sees 31 suicides for every 100,000 people each year, according to South Korean news outlet Hankyoreh.
(Hat tip, Sydney Morning Herald)
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