Tibet Protestor Plummets at Chinese Consulate in San Francisco

Witness Claims Rope was Cut by Consulate Employees

A woman protesting the Chinese government's actions in Tibet plunged down the face of the Chinese consulate today when the rope suspending her gave way. Two women dressed in black staged mock hangings from the roof of the building Wednesday morning, holding banners that said, "Stop the Killing in Tibet" while other protesters from Students for a Free Tibet and the Tibetan Youth Congress waved signs. One of the demonstrators fell about 15 feet to a balcony below, from where she was rescued by firefighters. Her friend who was on the roof of the consulate before being hustled off it by security personnel yelled to a news crew that the Chinese had cut the ropes. Four fire trucks and several police cars blocked the streets surrounding the consulate as the demonstrator, Nyendak Wangden, 22, of San Francisco, was lowered in a gurney using an escape ladder. "She didn't suffer any life-threatening injuries," said Mindy Talmidge, spokeswoman for the fire department, adding that Wangden was taken to the trauma center at San Francisco General Hospital. Calls to the Chinese Consulate were not immediately returned. San Francisco police said they were investigating the incident, but had no immediate comments. Protesters were shaken by the fall. "We were here to do something nonviolent, and now this," said Tenzin Khando, 22, of Salt Lake City. She wiped away tears as she watched firefighters load Wangden into one of their trucks. A slideshow of the event is available here. China's human rights record and its policies in Tibet have been a flash point for protests in China and around the world, as activists used the Olympic torch's passage after it left Greece on March 24 to highlight their causes.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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