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8-year-old boy dies after fall from 4th-floor Saitama school balcony

23 Comments

A 3rd year student at Shiba-minami elementary school in Kawaguchi City died on Thursday after falling about 12 meters from a balcony on the school's 4th floor. The 8-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital but died about 4 hours later, police said.

According to police and school officials, hand prints that appear to be the boy's were found on the 1.2-meter-tall railing on the balcony outside a 4th floor multi-purpose room. The incident occurred at around 3:30 p.m., and although there were a few students who stayed after school in the schoolyard, no one was in the classroom when the boy fell.

An adult accompanying a student who was visiting the school saw the boy fall and called police.

Shigeru Kurosu, 56, principal of the school, said, "It was so sudden and we're all really shocked. The boy's head teacher said nothing was unusual about him before the accident."

© News reports

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23 Comments
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An adult accompanying a student who was visiting the school saw the boy fall and called police.

What on earth were they doing calling the POLICE?! It's a freakin' medical emergency, not a crime.

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The mind boggles with speculation over this one. He was alone. It was after school. Most of the students had already gone home. I can see no reason why an 8y/o boy would be playing alone on the balcony railing of a fourth floor utility room. Could this be yet another child suicide? I hope someone can convince me I am wrong.

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Is there something in the water lately?!

I agree with Disillusioned, I hope it's not a suicide. This doesn't sound right to me at all, him being totally alone and just hanging out on a balcony by himself.

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chotto: Unless you know the specific numbers of local hospitals/emergency services, you usually call one general number (ie. 119). They'll link you to the appropriate service... hopefully. I could be wrong, though.

Poor kid. The kid was probably messing about and went too far.

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What on earth were they doing calling the POLICE?! It's a freakin' medical emergency, not a crime.

I always wonder the same thing. I guess it's proper "procedure." The police need to determine if they need an ambulance or not. It would appear that most Japanese are more concerned with following the proper "procedure" than actually taking the time to think and make a judgment call themselves.

I always wonder a bit how long this "adult" saw the kid before he fell. Did he watch with passive disinterest while the kid was out on the ledge? Did he scream at him to go inside? did he look frantically around to see if somebody could help prevent a tragedy? After he fell, did he go and see if he could help the kid in anyway? (12 meters it not automatically fatal).

Did he have an opportunity to call the cops BEFORE the kid jumped/fell?

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Kids will be stuipd. O I can jump and not get hurt. Wonder what killed him. The fall? The lack of medical attention? How long did it take for the ambulance to pick hip up. I'm sure people just stood around and watched.

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You know from all of these kid suicide / kid prostitution / pachinko parlor stories, I think it is time to lower the bar on what is a successful parent.

I would say that any parent deserves a medal if they can shepherd a child to age 18, alive and healthy, without trouble with one side of the law or another.

An eight year old should not be faced with life endangering decisions or situations, but higher walls and railings probably would not have prevented this. For one reason or another, Darwin called on him and he raised his hand.

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not every fall is a suicide... hello. kids will be kids. I probably should have and could have died about 10 tens when I was a kid, thinking of all the things I did. Jumping gaps that had i missed would have killed me, climbed heights that looked safe but were not. I also played on the roof of my local high school when I was a little kid.

I would say that any parent deserves a medal if they can shepherd a child to age 18, alive and healthy, without trouble with one side of the law or another.

i 2nd that.

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my school is very strict about leaving students alone after school in the shool for this very reason.

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1.2 meter railing on the balcony. Average Japanese 8-year-olds are somewhere between 120cm and 135cm or so.. My older son is 7 years old and he's 131cm tall. So we cannot say the railing wasn't high enough. The boy had to intentionally climb up. I hope people are not going to be stupid and blame on the school.

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Is it that season again? For a year you hear none of such accidents. Then at once JT posts 4-5 in a row! Something's smelly here!

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I hope people are not going to be stupid and blame on the school.

I agree but I can almost guarantee you they will.

It does sound odd that an 8 year old alone could fall like that. Could be a suicide, it isn`t a total improbability, but I think a more likely probability is as inakarob said - an 8 year old that just pushed himself too far. Tragic. Imagine being the parents and getting that phone call.

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@kirakira25 --Imagine being the parents and getting the phone call... That was exactly what I was thinking.. Can you imagine? That would be terrible.

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I'm sure people just stood around and watched.

the powers of a school nurse are somewhat limited and probably do not encompass a 12 meter fall. The lack of a medical facility for one may hinder a school nurse. and what would you do pray tell? perform miraculous life saving techniques to the adulation of gawkers and busybodies?

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ambulance and fire are 119, cops are 110. If the child was dead which anyone could probably ascertain, then the police would be the right action. Often 119 calls trigger an automatic police response as well. Anything that mentions accident will signal the boys in blue. These things happen, any parents nightmare. RIP young fella.

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A kid fell out of a window when I was at primary school- he was just messing around, climbing in the window frame, and slipped. Far more likely scenario than an 8-year-old committing suicide, in my opinion. We used to climb trees far higher than that- we would have been history if we had missed our footing. Kids do things like this all the time.

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Doing a stunt or topping himself? Guess we'll never know.

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i wouldn't comment on this particular case. i don't know enough of the details. but in general i'm often surprised here in japan by the lack of concern parents/guardians show when kids seem to be putting themselves into dangerous situations.

i have to stop myself from telling strangers' kids to be cautious. my instinct is to act but as an outsider i'm afraid i'd insult someone. so i just watch nervously.

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This is the third time this week that I read an article that dealt with a small child or an infant falling from a three to six story building... For the infants, where are the parents? Why aren't they directly under their watchful eyes like they're supposed to be? And for the child, God knows what that child was thinking before and in between the moments of him falling from the classroom window. I really hope that parents will take the proper steps for the well-being of their children. This is starting to get a little too outrageous.

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Most likely the kid was just playing around. Suicide at that age is pretty over the top, but I supposed it's not impossible in that society.

What on earth were they doing calling the POLICE?! It's a freakin' medical emergency, not a crime.

Both will be involved no matter what. It is an incident and 119 is going to be the number for an incident. The police are probably even better at getting the medical personnel there anyways.

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Yeah, kid just being stupid probably. I did the same type of things, always pushed my own limits. It's what we do as humans, especially males. If we did not take these chances we would not have the technology we do today. My brothers and I would jump from a tree as high as a second story to the ground below, usually over and over again and would keep trying to jump from a higher spot.

In other words, his little gamble did not pay off. His parents will be horribly hurt but in the broad view of things he only did what a kid normally does and that is be curious and stupid, which all normal kids are.

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Yeah, it sounds more like he was messing around and fell. Definitely all to common - but actually for some reason I always have had this image that Japanese kids were less prone to doing that than kids anywhere else in the world - but maybe not - maybe climbing is one of those "boys must climb things" in genetics everywhere.

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poor little love.what a horrid sight for the student visiting the school too. unfortunately accidents happen, here's to hoping some laws regarding railings and guards on balconies above a certain height are amended.

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