A firefighter fell to his death while trying to save a woman from jumping off a building.
The unfortunate incident took place on Friday, Nov. 12, in Mengcheng county, located in China's Anhui province.
The firefighter, whose name was Chen Jianjun, was 24 years old.
The woman, who was reportedly in her 50s, apparently reached the rooftop at around 7 or 8 in the morning of Nov. 12, and stayed there for a few hours, Southern Metropolis Daily reported.
As there were a number of people working on the rooftop at the top, no one initially took notice, and assumed she was simply one of the workers there.
Woman in emotional duress
When firefighters and police arrived on the scene after receiving an alert, they tried to calm her down and persuade her to return to safety. However, during the hour-long standoff, the woman remained silent and was reportedly in emotional distress.
According to an eyewitness, an air cushion was set up on the ground floor.
However, as the woman kept running around, rescue workers were not able to determine where she might attempt to jump off eventually. They were thus unable to get the air cushion in place in time.
As a result, the woman fell to her death when she suddenly jumped off.
In the process of saving her, Chen held on to her and tried to pull her to safety, but fell together with her instead. Even when they landed, his grip on her reportedly never loosened.
The woman died on the day itself, while Chen was pronounced dead the next morning (Nov. 13) after emergency treatment failed to save him.
Many mourned his death
Chen's death had sparked an outpouring of grief on social media, where many hailed him as a national hero.
The firefighting department in Bozhou city, where Chen worked at, had commemorated him on Weibo, highlighting his acts of bravery since 2014 when he first started his career as a firefighter.
As part of the firefighting team, he had participated in more than 1,300 operations, and rescued hundreds of civilians.
The Anhui chapter of the Chinese Communist Youth League has called for youths in the province to take Chen as a role model, and learn from his "unshakeable belief, his loyalty to the Party, his selfless professionalism and sacrificial spirit".
If you or someone you know are in mental distress, here are some hotlines you can call to seek help, advice, or just a listening ear:
SOS 24-hour Hotline: 1-767
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
Institute of Mental Health: 6389-2222 (24 hours)
Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788 (for primary school-aged children)
Top image via Weibo