Boy fighting for life after plunge from flat window

Top News | Jane Cheung 22 May 2019

A 12-year-old boy is fighting for his life after falling from a fourth-floor window while trying to retrieve his school uniform from a clothes rack in Tsuen Wan.

His mother, 42, who was taking her eight-year-old son to school, was arrested for ill-treatment or neglect by those in charge of a child or young person.

The older boy, surnamed Cheng, was home alone at 8am yesterday when he was preparing for school. He lost his balance while trying to retrieve his uniform hanging outside the window and fell from the family's subdivided unit on Chuen Lung Street. He landed on a canopy on the first floor of the building.

He sustained injuries to his back and bone fractures to his right leg. Witnesses called police and fire services officers rescued him from the canopy. He was rushed to Princess Margaret Hospital in a conscious state but has since fallen into critical condition.

As seen from the building's exterior, the subdivided unit had no window grills. An iron bar attached to the external wall near the window served as a clothes rack.

The boy lived with his parents and younger brother.

A shopkeeper at a nearby pharmacy said Cheng was a tough boy as he did not cry after falling. "He only shouted that it was painful," she said. "Many police and fire services officers arrived at the scene to rescue him."

She said one fireman comforted Cheng and assured him he would be on the ground soon.

Cheng's father rushed to hospital. He told police the family has been living in the subdivided unit for more than 10 years but has recently been allocated a public housing unit in Tung Chung. They were preparing to move this weekend.

The father said his son is in Primary Six at Mary of Providence Primary School. He added he had to go to Tung Chung to see the renovation progress at their new flat, while his wife had to work at a construction site after taking their younger son to school.

"We've already taken his school uniform out for him to get ready for school, but he wanted to put on the sports uniform so he went to retrieve the clothes himself," he said.

The father said the parents have hired helpers to take care of the children and do house work, but Cheng did not like them, resulting in two helpers resigning.

Cheng was described as a cheerful student who got along with his classmates and teacher. The school principal and his teacher went to visit the boy in hospital.

Democratic Party lawmaker Helena Wong Pik-wan said the government should enhance public education on safety awareness, including installing window grills.

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