Seoul installs anti-suicide system on city bridges after 196 fatal jumps
SEOUL (AFP) - The South Korean capital Seoul has installed anti-suicide monitoring devices on bridges over the city's Han river after 196 people jumped to their deaths last year, officials said on Thursday.
The new initiative - in a country with the highest suicide rate among leading developed nations - incorporates closed-circuit television cameras programmed to recognise motions that suggest somebody might be preparing to jump from a bridge.
Detection of a potential suicide sounds an automatic alarm which would result in emergency services and counsellors being dispatched to the location in three minutes.
"The new system has been put in place on two bridges," a city official in charge of the project told AFP. "We will expand the system to the other Han River bridges if testing until March proves effective."