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Epidemiological and phenomenological aspects of suicides committed by jumping from a high bridge


, : Epidemiological and phenomenological aspects of suicides committed by jumping from a high bridge. Archiv fuer Kriminologie 202(6): 129-139, Nov -Dec

Since the fascinating Kohlbrand Bridge within the harbour of Hamburg (520 m long, 53 m high) was put into operation in the year 1974, 56 persons (47 males, 9 females, aged between 20 and 82 years) committed suicide by jumping from the bridge up to 1997. These suicides could not be prevented although video supervision of the bridge has been arranged and a police station is not far away. the suicides took place without any predictable frequency concerning time and season. However, after reports of spectacular cases within the media there was a tendency of suicidents to prefer the same manner of suicide, for instance in the year 1994. In recent time, a considerable number of suicidents did not jump from the very top of the bridge down into the water but hit to the ground after jumping from the access ramps. - The special aim of this retrospective study included an analysis of the injury pattern (autopsy rate only 47%!) and special phenomenal and reconstructive aspects of the suicides.

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