Chen Si, the ‘Angel of Nanjing’, has saved more than 330 people from suicide



A MAN is passed out, completely unconscious, on one of the busiest bridges in the world. 

He’s been there for a while. To onlookers, it looks like he’s passed out from a drug overdose. He has tyre tracks embedded in his arm; someone has run over him with their motorbike and just kept going. Here, people don’t bother to stop.

For China’s 1.38 billion residents — almost 20 per cent of the entire world’s population — in a country of smog and population density, life can sometimes be grim.null

But in this “constantly churning” atmosphere of pollution and traffic, is one legendary bridge.

The Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge carries approximately 80,000 vehicles and 200 trains per day, and has far surpassed San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge as the most popular suicide site in the world.

Every weekend since September 19, 2003, Chen Si travels 25km from his home to the bridge. From 7:30am until sun down, he spots the suicidal before they get the chance to take the 70m plunge into the Yangtze River — in some cases dragging them back over the barrier, kicking and screaming, to safety.

But not always.