By Tom Bannister
On the morning of Thursday December 20, a suicidal man climbed onto the roof of the bus station in Foshan, a city in Guangdong province. After three hours he would jump down, only to survive and be injured badly.The whole event was captured by a photographer from start to finish and the photos have been much discussed over the past few days.
The police, who recently have been known only for their brutality, sexuality, and corruption, performed admirably throughout the whole tragic episode. One policeman got up onto the roof to talk the man down, offering him a cigarette and smoking alongside him. After the first hour had passed, the policeman asked ‘have you eaten?’. The man said no and the other policemen on the ground passed up a takeaway meal. An onlooker also passed up some oranges and someone produced a can of beer. The man sipped his beer and peeled his oranges and seemed calm, but suddenly, three hours after he climbed onto the roof, he jumped. Ambulance crews were standing by and were able to rush to assist the man as he lay on the forecourt of the bus station. He was taken to a nearby hospital where staff reported that his condition was critical but that he should survive.