Vietnamese deputy minister dies after falling from eighth-storey balcony

HANOI (DPA) - Vietnam's deputy minister of education died on Thursday (Oct 17) morning after falling from the eighth floor of his office, the ministry said.

Mr Le Hai An, 48, died at 7.10am on Thursday due to what the education ministry reported in a statement as an accident, although it failed to specify the exact cause.

According to Vietnamese newspaper Dan Tri, Mr An fell from a balcony outside the ministry's canteen.

Police are examining the scene to gain a full account of what occurred, but have yet to release further details.

His sudden death has led to speculation and suspicion on social media.

Mr An was scheduled to attend a meeting with the National Education Council on Thursday morning, chaired by his superior, education minister Phung Xuan Nha.

Mr An was appointed deputy education minister in 2018 while he was president of Hanoi University of Mining and Geology.

In February this year, he also took on the more prestigious role of secretary at the ministry of education. He was a potential candidate to become the next education minister in 2021.