A Hong Kong couple were rushed to hospital after apparently trying to commit suicide by asphyxiation using burning charcoal in a luxury villa in Tai Po, the New Territories on Sunday.

The man, a 64-year-old retired businessman surnamed Luk was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital while his 61-year-old wife remains in critical condition, Sing Tao Daily reported.

The couple lived in a villa in Hong Lok Yuen with their domestic worker.

It is understood that the domestic worker had Sunday off, and left home as usual in the morning. When she returned that evening, she found the master room locked, with a note saying “do not enter” stuck to the door.

Concerned by this, she called Luk’s elder sister.

At 8pm, when Luk’s sister and his nephew arrived at the villa, they found the couple unconscious in the bedroom.

Paramedics rushed the man and woman to hospital, where the husband was pronounced dead on arrival. His wife was stabilized after resuscitation was performed. Her condition remains critical.

Police found burned charcoal and a suicide note in the bedroom which revealed they were facing financial difficulties. After an initial investigation, police do not suspect foul play.

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