A person fell from the upper level of the library at Vancouver Island University today. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Person dies after fall from VIU building

University offering support to students and employees who may need it

A person died after a fall from the upper level of the library at Vancouver Island University today.

According to social media posts from the university and from Nanaimo RCMP, an individual fell from the building and emergency crews were called to the scene.

The incident happened at 12:20 p.m.

Andy Watson, B.C. Coroners Service spokesman, confirmed in an e-mail a coroner was en route to Nanaimo to investigate.

“The B.C. Coroners Service investigates all sudden, unnatural and unexpected deaths in B.C.,” he said.

There has been no official word as to whether the fatality was the result of an accident or suicide attempt.

An official statement from the university noted that “we are very saddened by this tragic incident and want to encourage anyone who needs support to reach out.”

Al Cumbers, VIU associate vice-president of facilities and ancillary services, said the library was closed following the incident and classes on campus were halted for the remainder of the day, but that they would resume Tuesday.

“We want to be really key that there’s no threat on campus or to the rest of the VIU community,” Cumbers said. “Right now we’re focusing on providing support to the VIU community. We’re arranging supports for employees and students from both Homewood Health and from the [Island Health] and we’re offering students and staff counselling in the student affairs Building 200 and [for] staff we’ve set up with Homewood Health in the Royal Arbutus Room.”

Cumbers said the university is sharing as much information as possible on its social media feeds, while respecting the privacy of the individual who died and other people involved.

VIU is offering support to students and employees who may need it; for information, click here.

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