Filipina slits wrists, jumps 7 floors to death in Lebanon

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Jan 5 2010

After a tip-off from a member of the public, Lebanon's Daily Star newpaper travelled to the scene where a 28-year old Filipina worker had committed suicide.
According to reporter Dalila Mahdawi, Theresa Otera Seda "plunged seven floors to her death on Monday, lying on the pavement for hours before paramedics transferred her body to a morgue."

The article continues: "According to several eyewitnesses, it took paramedics more than one hour to reach the Khalifeh Building in Beirut’s Sanayeh neighborhood, where the twisted body of Theresa Otero Seda lay covered on the pavement with a white plastic sheet.

As police cordoned off the area, blood could be seen trickling down the pavement, with Seda’s right hand poking out from under the sheeting.

According to Sanayeh resident Matthew Cassel, Seda had apparently cut her wrists on the balcony before plummeting to the ground, saying he’d seen other migrant workers clean up the blood. “I was here for at least 45 minutes to an hour before an ambulance turned up,” he said. “If there had been any chance she was alive, who would have known?”

He added that after Seda’s body was covered, cars continued to speed along the road, at times coming close to running over her corpse.

“Judging by the position of the body, it appeared she jumped,” a passerby told The Daily Star as paramedics uncovered Seda in full view of the public. Though her face, shattered by the impact, was unrecognizable, one of four officials from the Philippines Embassy identified her. The officials declined to comment “because the Lebanese police are investigating,” but held a copy of her passport.

Standing watch was Seda’s employer, who said he had received a call from the gatekeeper at around 1 pm informing him of her death. She had arrived only two months ago, he said, asking that his name not be revealed.

“We’ll issue a police report and forensic report, and the insurance and embassy will take care of shipping her back,” he said." Read the full article here

For photographs from the scene, taken by local resident and journalist Matthew Cassel, click here.

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East