A 58-year-old man fell to his death while cleaning windows on the 19th floor of the building where he lived in Tuen Mun on Sunday, becoming the second person to lose his life in this manner within just two weeks.
The man, who had the surname Ho, was working in the kitchen of the unit in Wu Boon House, Wu King Estate, when he fell at about 11am, Ming Pao Daily reported. His wife called the police after hearing him fall, but Ho was later pronounced dead at Tuen Mun Hospital.
Ho lived in the New Territories apartment with his wife and son. Police, who found cleaning cloths and detergents near the window, believe the man lost his balance while cleaning and do not suspect any foul play.
On December 23, a 59-year-old man was killed after falling from his new home in Tung Chung on Lantau Island while cleaning a widow. There have been 10 deaths in similar circumstances in the past five years.
Authorities have advised the public to take more precautions while washing apartment windows, noting that it is a tradition for Chinese to clean their homes thoroughly before the Chinese New Year. One suggestion is that windows be secured with grills for safety; if there are no grills, the cleaner should remain on the floor while working.
It has also been suggested that cleaners should use implements with long handles to avoid the need to lean out of windows. They also should never lean against windows or grilles in case they are not secure.