Aviation official commits suicide by jumping in front of train
Mon, Jun 28, 2010
China Daily/Asia News Network

BEIJING - A senior Chinese aviation official died after throwing himself in front of a railway train on Thursday, authorities confirmed over the weekend.

Media speculation attributed the suicide to an ongoing corruption investigation that has shaken the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

Liu Yajun, the 50-year-old chief of Central and Southern Regional Administration (CSRA) of CAAC, was found dead at 3 pm on Thursday near railroad tracks in Guangzhou, just months after taking office in February, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing police.

Police said a high-speed train crushed Liu. The reason for his death is still under investigation.

A security camera recorded footage of him climbing a fence to come close to the railway, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Sunday.

CSRA sources confirmed that Liu had committed suicide and had a suicide note with him at the time of his death. The letter's contents remain unknown, Caixin magazine reported on Sunday.

Liu's colleagues said he was a decent and easygoing person, and his death came as a shock.

Media reports have tied the suicide to a series of ongoing corruption investigations of civil aviation officials.

Since January, four senior civil aviation administration officials have lost their positions because of corruption charges, including CAAC's deputy minister Yu Renlu.

Seven officials at China Southern Airlines were being investigated for alleged corruption after the case of CAAC North China Regional Administration's chief, Huang Dengke, triggered further investigations.

However, no official source has confirmed whether Liu's death has anything to do with the graft investigations.

Some have speculated that rather than being entangled in the unraveling web of corruption, Liu was instead unbearably frustrated by the aviation authority's internal politics.

Liu was promoted to Chief of CSRA in February 2009. Before then, he was CAAC's safety office director.

CSRA, a subordinate body of CAAC, has jurisdiction over the southern part of China, including Guangdong, Hunan and Hainan provinces, and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

-China Daily/Asia News Network

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