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Charges possible over bizarre suicide attempt

BOTH a man who threatened to commit suicide by jumping from a bridge in Guangzhou City and the man who ran up and pushed him off the bridge may face criminal charges, Guangzhou Daily quoted officials as saying yesterday.

Chen Fuchao, who's heavily in debt, stood on Guangzhou's Haizhu Bridge for hours on Thursday threatening to jump. Passer-by Lai Jiansheng broke through a police barrier, ran up to Chen, shook his hand and pushed him off the ledge.

Chen survived the fall with injuries to his spine and elbow after landing on a partially inflated emergency air cushion.

Both could now be detained - Chen for disturbing public order and Lai for battery.

Lai, 61, who was reported to be taking medication for psychological problems, was granted bail early yesterday.

Chen is in a local hospital. Doctors said he may be paralyzed by a fractured spine.

The newspaper quoted Chen as saying he wouldn't accept Lai's apology, even though Lai had expressed regret about the incident.

Lai said he thought Chen was a trouble maker. He said he decided to push Chen off the bridge as he saw the air cushion.

Firefighters on the ground said they had no time to move the cushion into the right position.

Chen fell on the edge of the cushion and bounced off on to the ground.


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