Police received a call early on Thursday from a maid who said her British employer had hung himself in a flat in Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island.

The 31-year-old domestic worker rang police at 6am to say she found her employer, named Gordon, had hung himself with a rope on the balcony of a flat at Kian Nan Mansion on Bonham Strand West in Sheung Wan, Oriental Daily reported.

Firemen arrived and tried to save the man but he was unconscious. He was taken to Queen Mary Hospital but later certified as dead.

An initial investigation by police found that the man was depressed due to his mother being ill recently. They did not rule out this being a cause of him committing suicide, Apple Daily reported.

The reports did not mention a suicide note being found in the flat.

The Samaritans run a 24-hour multilingual suicide prevention hotline on +852 2896 0000 or emails can be sent to jo@samaritans.org.hk.