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August 30, 2011

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Promising music student dies in US

A 19-year-old Chinese student, after graduating from a Shanghai music school, died after falling from a high-rise dorm room only four days after arriving in the United States to continue his music study.

Jia Shibai, a freshman at the Eastman School of Music of Rochester University in New York state, died on Saturday morning after the fall, according to Rochester police and the school authority.

Police have ruled out foul play in their investigation.

The young man graduated from Shanghai Music Conservatory's Affiliated Middle School, the school authority confirmed yesterday.

Jia hailed from Zhengzhou, in central China's Henan Province. He arrived in the US last Tuesday to embark on his new study, according to the university's newsletter.

Jia fell out of a 12th-floor window of the dorm where he lived around 3am. He was found by fellow students and a security officer who heard the fall. He was rushed to a hospital but pronounced dead.

University president Joe Seligman called on the campus community to mourn the tragic loss. "It is a shocking tragedy when young lives are cut short," the president said in an open letter.

Jia was described as having had "tremendous promise" by Jamal Rossi, an associate dean at Eastman, Jia's college.

News of the loss reached some of Jia's local classmates and teachers yesterday, who gathered to express their sorrows through

Jia's home schoolmates and teachers have described him as a student "with both excellent academic performances and a good personality."

Based on some posts on his blog, some Shanghai schoolmates thought Jia might be depressed, but US police have not suggested suicide.


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