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Chinese ‘left-behind’ boy dies in roof fall after grandparents tell him to climb down rope to locked flat

A Chinese “left-behind” boy fell four storeys to his death when his grandparents asked him to climb from a roof to enter the window of their flat after they locked themselves out, mainland media reports.

The child, who was about 10 years old, died instantly on Monday when the rope broke as he was lowering himself from the fifth-floor roof of the apartment building in a rural town in Sichuan province, the news portal Thepaper.cn reported.

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After leaving the keys to their flat locked inside, the boy’s grandparents took him up to the roof and tied the rope around him and told him to climb down to one of their windows.

They were holding one end of the rope when it snapped just as he had reached the fourth floor of the building.

He fell to the ground and was killed immediately, the report said.

The boy was one of the many “left-behind” rural children, whose migrant worker parents live and work in cities far from home and so are forced to remain behind living with their grandparents.

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Because of the lack of parental attention, affection and guidance, these countryside children are very vulnerable and are often involved in suicides, accidents and also incidents of juvenile delinquency.

China has more than 60 million left behind children, according to an official estimate carried out in 2013.

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A new survey is being carried out this year to determine the exact figure so that each one of them can receive assistance.