22-year-old student dies while allegedly escaping from police

A 22-year-old student died in Hong Kong today, allegedly becoming the first direct victim to clashes between protesters and police in the city in recent months, local media reported.

The young man had been admitted to a local hospital since early Monday morning after being found unconscious in a parking lot, apparently after an escape from a police action against an illegal demonstration in Hong Kong, local radio RTHK said.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital confirmed that the student died at 08:09 (00:09 in Lisbon), without specifying the cause of death, the local newspaper South China Morning Post (SCMP) said.

Chow Tsz-lok, a computer science student at the University of Science and Technology of Hong Kong (HKUST), was found lifeless on the second floor of a car park in Tseung Kwan O and authorities admitted the possibility that he had fallen from the third floor, indicated the SCMP.

Moments earlier, police had fired several tear gas grenades to disperse protesters, who threw bottles and bricks at security forces.

The former British colony has been the scene of an unprecedented political crisis for about five months since the transfer of sovereignty from the United Kingdom to China in 1997, with almost daily demonstrations and actions protesting the alleged erosion of freedoms and increasing interference of Beijing in the semi-autonomous region.

The pro-democracy mobilization has resulted in increasingly violent and recurring clashes between police and radical protesters, as well as numerous acts of vandalism directed against companies accused of supporting Beijing.

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