World News

Australian Diplomat Dead After Falling From New York Building Rooftop

Australian Diplomat Dead After Falling From New York Building Rooftop

An Australian United Nations diplomat fell to his death from a balcony in New York City early on Wednesday in what witnesses say was a "game of trust" gone wrong.

Simpson jumped up onto the balcony railing and sat on it facing the apartment before he fell backward, sources said.

To prove his word, Simpson suggested they play the trust game, leading to his fatal plunge.

Police sources said Mr Simpson may have been playing a "trust" game with a male friend on the rooftop deck of the building when the accident happened.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Mr Simpson's death was shocking news.

Julian Simpson, 30, slipped and fell while sitting on the railing of his Lower East Side apartment's balcony at 1.35am local time (5.35pm AEDT).

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed it was assisting the family.

The man said he tried to reach out and catch Simpson when he climbed over the ledge but he started to slip and fall.

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He regularly travelled overseas for work, including a recent trip to Ecuador where he was part of a 55-person delegation studying development. The group then went inside, but the female's 24-year-old husband confronted Simpson about his actions on the roof.

The two men then stepped back outside, where Mr Simpson told the husband that he meant no harm, according to sources.

Simpson later offered to prove his trustworthiness to the man by playing a game of "trust fall" on an apartment terrace.

Simpson was rushed to Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Mr Simpson reportedly climbed onto the ledge and began to lean back.

An official report from the medical examiner's office will confirm the cause of death.

A rep for the Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has described the death of an Australian United Nations diplomat in NY as a "shocking tragedy".


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