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Facebook engineer dies at company’s headquarters

Police say there were no signs of foul play.

By Denham Sadler on Sep 24 2019 11:10 AM

https://ia.acs.org.au/article/2019/facebook-engineer-dies-at-company-s-headquarters.

A Facebook employee has died of an “apparent suicide” at the social media giant’s global headquarters in California.

Police were called to Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters at about 11.30am on Thursday and found the man unresponsive and were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Facebook employee has now been identified as Qin Chen, a 38-year-old San Mateo resident and reportedly a full-time software engineer with the social media company.

Police said the initial investigation did not uncover any signs of foul play.

“Preliminary investigation by the Menlo Park Police Department indicates that there is no foul play involved in this apparent suicide,” Menlo Park Police Department said in a statement.

“Menlo Park Police Officers and Menlo Park Fire Protection District personnel responded, and when they arrived, found the victim unresponsive. Firefighters and paramedics administered medical aid but were unable to revive the victim.”

The tragic incident took place at a Facebook building known as MPK 27.

Facebook has also addressed the incident in a separate statement.

“We were saddened to learn that one of our employees passed away at our Menlo Park headquarters earlier today,” Facebook said in a company statement.

“We’re cooperating with police in their investigation and providing support to employees,” Facebook said in a statement.

“While the family is being notified, we have no information to share.

“We hope to provide an update when we learn additional information from law enforcement.”

There are currently about 15,000 Facebook employees at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters, but Facebook has grand plans for a large-scale expansion in the area.

Facebook plans to have 35,000 employees at the headquarters by 2028, a figure which is higher than the city’s entire population.

There have been ongoing concerns about mental health and working conditions in the workplaces of some of the biggest tech companies in the world.

A report by The Daily Beast recently revealed that there were 189 instances of “suicide attempts, suicidal thoughts and other mental health episodes” leading to emergency responses at Amazon warehouse around the US between October 2013 and October 2018. These reports were from 46 warehouses in 17 states in the US.

There was also a wave of suicides in Foxconn factories, which produce Apple’s iPhones, in China in 2010 and 2011, with another reported death early last year.

Always reach out if you need help. You can speak with: Lifeline (13 11 14, lifeline.org.au), beyondblue (1300 22 4636, beyondblue.org.au) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467, suicidecallbackservice.org.au).

Copyright © Information Age, ACS
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