Mar 23, 2012

Drama as woman tries to jump to her death

An African woman, believed to be in her 30s, is in police custody after she allegedly attempted to commit suicide by jumping from the window of a sixth floor apartment, Sharjah Police told Gulf News.
Many panicked onlookers, mostly women, cried as she dangled precariously from the window, eyewitnesses said.

The incident happened in the Abu Shagara area yesterday morning around 9.30am.
"The woman was dangling from the window by just one hand for several minutes and was screaming out for help after she seemingly changed her mind about the suicide. But she could not climb back up. One person, I think a man, was holding her by the other hand and trying to pull her back up," Sharly Benjamin, an eyewitness, who lives in the vicinity, said.
Fortunately, the woman was pulled back up, just as the police arrived. She has been taken into custody for investigation, a police official confirmed, adding that initial reports suggest a suicide attempt.
"I was just leaving for work when I heard her cries for help," Benjamin, the managing director of a private firm, said, adding that onlookers crowded the area within minutes.
The 12-storey building is located near the Abu Shagara Park, opposite a mosque. Some people ran behind the building and returned with a huge carpet, he continued.
"About 20 people held up the carpet hoping to cushion her fall. In the meantime, I ran up the building to assist the person trying to help her climb back into the apartment. But by the time I reached, she was already taken into safety," he added.
A Syrian man living downstairs went up to the apartment and helped pull the woman back to safety.
The woman is Ethiopian and was working as a housemaid for the family, according to sources.
The husband, an Emirati, was at work in Abu Dhabi and the wife, a Moroccan national, had taken her mother to the hospital when the incident occurred.
"Only the lady's brother, who is here on visit now, and the family's two young children [about three and five years old] were at home at the time," said a source, who asked not to be named.
The brother-in-law was also taken for police interrogation, added the source. However, this could not be immediately verified from the police.
"The lady was hired by the family only very recently, about two weeks or so," the source said.
The apartments in the building have no balconies, but only broad windows which can be opened sideways.