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Official commits suicide in Mianyang, Sichuan
By Cui Xiaohuo (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-11-21 07:51

An official in Mianyang, Sichuan province, committed suicide on Wednesday by jumping out of a window on the 15th floor of a hotel.

He Zonghua's body was found on a third floor awning of the hotel.

"As far as we know, He's death is not linked to the consequences of the May 12 earthquake that struck the region or to work pressure," Song Ming, spokesman of the city government, told the local media Thursday.

A statement from the Mianyang government said He had been working with a "positive attitude" and "got on well" with his colleagues.

The government had moved He from the social affairs department to the less stressful human resources department late last month, fearing for his health.

His death brings to three the number of officials who have died in the quake-affected area since last month.

Researchers said three to six months after a quake was a critical point for people suffering from psychological problems.

Zhang Wei, a psychologist and deputy head of West China Hospital, told Xinhua News Agency earlier that depression can set in after an initial period of stress. Grassroots officials are constantly under stress because of work pressure and dealing with the public.

Dong Yufei, the disaster relief office director in Beichuan county, hanged himself on Oct 3. The 40-year-old lost his 12-year-old son in the quake.

Late last month, Luo Shibin, a 45-year-old relocation official with Pingwu county in northwest Sichuan, died of a burst brain artery due to overwork.