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November 11, 2009

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Husband follows wife's death fall with his own

A COUPLE fell to death from the same building in Guangzhou three days apart last week - the husband leaving a death note to demonstrate his outrage against his wife's employer for its cold-blood attitude over her death.

Li Deying, 44, an elevator operator at a building site in Guangzhou's Panyu District, Guangdong Province, fell to death from a building under construction on October 31, Guangzhou-based New Express reported yesterday.

Her husband Deng Aichang, 41, a migrant worker at a building site in neighboring Foshan City, jumped off the same building three days later, saying repeatedly before his suicide: "My wife has died. Is she even no better than an ant?"

What Deng said is a response to the treatment by Li's employer, the First Construction Engineering Ltd of China Construction Third Engineering Bureau Co Ltd.

The company attempted to hide the death from her family initially and then treated them harshly, Li's family members said.

Instead of being allowed to say goodbye to his wife, Deng was questioned at a police station for two hours.

"No calls or people from the company to express their condolence," Zhou Wanxue, a relative of Li, said. "They didn't care about us but with indifferent attitude."

Deng and some other relatives were accommodated at a budget motel.

"We were treated with fast food meals every day at the musty hostel," Zhou said.

A staffer of the company even notified them by phone at noon on November 2 that their budget on food was 30 yuan (US$4.39) a day in total.

Deng replied angrily, "Is my wife's death worth six yuan of fast food only?"

Deng and his relatives visited the scene at the building site the next morning. He then went missing and appeared two hours later at the top of the building Li had fallen from.

In a death note, he descried the unfair treatment he and his relatives received. "There is no respect," the note said.

The reason for Li's death is still under investigation and the building company has admitted its insufficient performance in dealing with the aftermath and accommodation for the victim's family.


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