Australian diplomat dies in New York after falling from balcony ‘during trust game’
Julian Simpson, 30, the second secretary to the Australian Mission to the United Nations, died in the early hours of this morning when he fell from a 7th floor balcony to a 2nd floor landing at his apartment on Clinton Street in Manhattan, a NYPD spokesman told the ABC.
Investigators said he, his wife and several friends had been drinking when Mr Simpson sat on the balcony railing and accidentally lost his balance.
US media are reporting Mr Simpson was playing a “game of trust” with a friend when he fell.
Police have not confirmed specifics but said those at the gathering told investigators Mr Simpson “liked to play games”.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Mr Simpson’s death was shocking news.
“It is a tragedy, our hearts go out to his family but I can’t provide any more details at this stage,” he told Channel Seven.
“It’s a shocking tragedy, a young life lost.”
Police said Mr Simpson had been in the US for two years.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she was deeply saddened by Mr Simpson’s death.
“I met with him just recently when I attended the UN General Assembly leaders week in New York” she told Sky News.
“He was a bright, engaged, clever young man. He clearly had a bright future ahead of him, and I’m deeply saddened by this tragic accident.”
A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said DFAT is providing consular assistance to Mr Simpson’s family.
“The family has requested privacy at this time,” the spokesperson said.