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Sichuan earthquake claims new victim

[ 2009-04-21 11:46]     字号 [] [] []  
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Another official involved in Sichuan earthquake relief efforts has committed suicide ahead of the tragedy's one-year anniversary next month.

Feng Xiang, 33, deputy head of the publicity department in Beichuan county, took his life at home on Sunday, local police said.

The former elementary school teacher's eight-year-old son was killed in the May 12 earthquake. The quake resulted in at least 90,000 people being killed or missing and left close to 2 million homeless.

Twenty-four of Feng’s students at Beichuan Middle School were killed. The school lost more than 1,000 students in the deadly earthquake.

Feng worked tirelessly during disaster relief efforts and was promoted to the publicity post in June, Xinhua News Agency reported.

In December, he attended a training course that included information about "post-disaster mental health assistance".

Feng left behind a note that was published by his friend on a website yesterday. In it, Feng wrote to his wife that depression was his "closest friend".

"Depression shall take away all sorrows when it takes me away," he wrote.

Feng had earlier sympathized with Dong Yufei, Beichuan's agriculture and disaster relief director, who took his own life last October.

Dong, whose son and nephew were killed in the earthquake, also said in his note: "I feel too much pressure from life and work every day. I cannot hold on any further".

Feng said