Hong Kong (CNN) – A 70-year-old man has died after being hit in the head with a brick during in clashes between Hong Kong’s pro- and anti-government groups on Wednesday, a Hong Kong Hospital Authority spokesperson confirmed to CNN.
The man was on a lunch break from his job as a cleaner when he voluntarily began clearing the road of bricks thrown during demonstrations, according to police.
Video of the alleged incident shows protesters and government supporters hurling bricks at one another before a man falls to the ground. Police say the man was hit by a brick thrown by rioters.
He died at 10:51 p.m. local time (9:51 a.m. ET) at the Prince of Wales Hospital in the New Territories. The case will be referred to the coroner.
The elderly man’s death is the second in nearly six months of confrontations between Hong Kong authorities and protesters demanding democracy in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
A 22-year-old Hong Kong university student who suffered a severe head injury after falling in a parking garage near the scene of protests died last Friday.
The student Chow Tsz-lok’s death was the first in Hong Kong’s anti-government unrest and inflamed tensions in the city.
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In the days since, the level of destruction in Hong Kong has reached new and unnerving heights. More people have been critically injured than at any point in the long-running movement, and Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned that the violence was jeopardizing the “one country, two systems” status.
Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority said 67 people were treated in hospitals in total on Wednesday with injuries related to the protests.
A 15-year-old boy is in critical condition after being struck in the head by what is believed to be a tear gas canister, according to Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority.
Earlier in the week, a protester was shot by police and a man was set on fire following a dispute with protesters Monday.
The major escalation in political unrest this week has once again raised questions over what will happen next. Looming over those conversations is the specter of a possible Chinese intervention.
Xi said Thursday that Hong Kong’s most pressing task was to restore order and put an end to the chaos.
Speaking at the BRICS summit in Brasilia, Brazil, on Thursday, the Chinese President condemned the violence in Hong Kong, saying it was “gravely challenging the bottom line of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principles.”
“We will continue to support the Chief Executive resolutely to lead the HKSAR government to govern by law; firmly support the HK Police Force to strictly enforce the law; and staunchly support HK judicial bodies to punish violent criminals by law,” Xi said.
He added that the Chinese government was determined to protect national sovereignty, and implement the “one country, two systems” policy, and to oppose any external force in interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs.
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