A university student who was severely injured in a nasty fall in a Hong Kong car park in the early hours of Monday morning as police were dispersing nearby protests has died this morning, local media is reporting.
According to Ming Pao, 22-year-old Chow Tsz-lok died due to sudden cardiac arrest this morning. Two operations had been carried out earlier this week to stop swelling inside Chow’s head caused by the four-meter drop, but neither helped to reduce the damage.
CPR was used to try to revive Chow this morning, but the effort was unsuccessful. He was declared dead at 8:09am this morning.
Chow, a computer science student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, fell from the third to the second floor of a parking structure at the Sheung Tak Estate in the early hours of Monday. People had gathered in the area for flash protests on Sunday night, culminating in riot police firing tear gas to disperse demonstrators.
It’s not clear why Chow was in the car park, or how he managed to fall, but it was believed that he was trying to escape from the tear gas at the time, though conflicting versions of events have circulated widely. He was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei, and had been in a coma ever since.
Reports of Chow’s death emerged just as students at his university, HKUST, were taking part in their graduation ceremony. University President Wei Shyy addressed the news during the ceremony, asking everyone to to observe a moment of silence, and told students he would be going to the hospital as soon as the ceremony was over.
#NOW HKUST president Wei Shyy was teary-eyed at this morning’s graduation ceremony session when he learned of the news about the 22-year-old student: “Chow Tsz-lok has passed away. We would like to observe a moment of silence” pic.twitter.com/u5yOSlmrPD
— Chan Ho-him (@ThomasHHChan) November 8, 2019
Chow’s closely watched case has been the cause of an outpouring of public anger at police — some of it exacerbated by unsubstantiated rumors he was pushed in the car park by an officer — and protesters have since returned to Tseung Kwan O to voice their anger.
According to a live video from Stand News, the walls of the hospital outside the Intensive Care Unit have been transformed into a makeshift Lennon wall covered with origami cranes and tributes to Chow.