BUSAN, South Korea — Suicide, in and of itself, is a tragic event for all involved. But when it takes the life of an innocent bystander, it is all the worse in its devastation.
On Wednesday, in the South Korean port city of Busan, a 38-year-old Korean man, identified only by the surname Jang, leaped from his 11th-floor apartment and landed on his neighbor’s five-year-old daughter who happened to be walking outside with her father.
Jang died immediately on impact while the girl was rushed to the hospital, where she later died of a skull fracture, according to Busan Police officer Kim Gil-san.
A 2011 government report found that 20 percent of suicides in South Korea take place during the months of May and July.
Jang, who was being treated for clinical depression, is just another tragic figure in the ongoing problem of suicide in Korea, which tops the OECD with an average of 33.5 people per 100,000 taking their lives per yearâa figure which equates to nearly 50 suicides per day.
According to a 2011 report, suicide is the leading cause of death among Koreans under 40 years of age, with the suicide rate for men clocking in at 41.4 per 100,000ânearly double the women’s number of 21.
While the government has taken measures to curb the trend, there seems to be no sign of the problem abating, with suicides in the highly competitive East Asian economic powerhouse having more than doubled in the past 10 years.
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