Taiwan student dies in fall in NZ construction yard


WELLINGTON, New Zealand, AP

A Taiwan student found dead in a construction yard in the southern city of Dunedin apparently fell down a steep bank and died of head injuries, police said Friday.

Li-Hsiang Chen, 24, appeared to have fallen down a 5-meter (16 foot) bank early Sunday morning, Detective Senior Sergeant Kallum Croudis said, speaking after Chen’s family had been informed of the death.

Initially, police had said they were treating Chen’s death as suspicious.

When found on Sunday, Chen had a compressed skull fracture and significant bruising to his knees, as well as symptoms of hypothermia.

“While we continue to have an open mind, it is likely the deceased sustained his injuries in the fall,” Croudis said.

He said all Chen’s property was found on or near his body, the gate to the construction yard was locked and he was not known to have any enemies.

“The scene does not reveal the influences of other individuals,” Croudis said.

Chen, a university graduate from Sanmin suburb in the southern port city of Kaohsiung, was studying at a high school in Dunedin, 720 kilometers (450 miles) southwest of the capital, Wellington, to improve his English and experience life in New Zealand, said Colin Donald, principal of the school Chen attended.