Live ammunition, petrol bombs and water cannons mark violent escalation in Hong Kong protests

Hong Kong protesters squared off against city police armed with water cannons on Sunday, marking one of the most violent nights of pro-democracy protests seen over the 12 weekends of consecutive protests that have rocked the city. Full Credit: Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/

(CNN) -- A 22-year-old Hong Kong university student who suffered a severe head injury after falling in a parking garage close to the scene of protests has died, hospital authorities confirmed Friday, a development that could further inflame tensions in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

Police say Chow Tsz-lok, a computer sciences student at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), fell from the third floor to the second floor of a parking garage in the residential area of Tseung Kwan O in the early hours of November 4. The incident occurred as police clashed with protesters during a nearby anti-government demonstration.

The Hong Kong Hospital Authority confirmed that Chow had died at 8:09 a.m. local time on Friday.

There is no indication that the student was involved in the nearby protest, but on Tuesday, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam told reporters that she was sad to see citizens being seriously injured as a result of the unrest in the city.

HONG KONG-CHINA-POLITICS-UNREST

A demonstrator holds a clown mask during a flash mob rally to show support for pro-democracy protesters at Chater Garden in the Central district in Hong Kong on October 11, 2019. - Semi-autonomous Hong Kong has been battered by four months of increasingly violent pro-democracy protests sparked by opposition to a now-scrapped bill allowing extraditions to China. (Photo by Mohd RASFAN / AFP) (Photo by MOHD RASFAN/AFP via Getty Images)

"I express deep sympathies to the university student and those who got injured in the protests," she said. Chow had been in a coma and on life support after arriving at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kowloon on Monday morning.

Chow's death has prompted an outpouring of anger from anti-government protest groups, who claim that police actions on the night of the accident resulted in paramedics being temporarily unable to access Chow.

Police have strenuously denied responsibility for his death and maintained that at no point did police obstruct ambulance or fire services from assisting Chow. A police statement released on November 5 described the allegations as "certainly false."

According to police, an ambulance was called at 1:11 a.m. local time Monday -- with ambulance crews arriving at the scene approximately 19 minutes later at 1:30 a.m.

Protests in the city began in June with peaceful marches against a now-withdrawn bill that would have allowed extradition to mainland China.

Since then, the demonstrations have spiraled into a broader, pro-democracy movement, which has at times sparked violent clashes between police and protesters, as well as protesters and members of the public. More than 1,500 people have been treated in hospital for protest-related injuries and more than 3,300 people have been arrested since the start of June.

This is a developing story

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