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'Suicide Watch'--Needed for the Golden Gate?

October 22, 1987|Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — The Pacific Stock Exchange, observing that the stock market was "going down the tubes" earlier this week, asked for a special suicide watch on the Golden Gate Bridge, the bridge district reported. But the stock exchange denied that any such request was made.

The telephone call came Monday, when the Dow Jones industrial index took a 508-point drop, bridge district Lt. Roger Ules said.

Unlike the 1929 crash, when some ruined investors leaped from windows, there were no jumpers.

No one tried to leap from the bridge, "and, as matter of fact, it was real quiet," Ules added. The bridge has been a notorious magnet for suicides.

"We got a call from the stock exchange, indicating that the stock market was going down the tubes and there were fears that some brokers might take a header off the bridge, and they asked us to increase security," Ules said.

The exchange was told that security--backed by two marked district cars on routine roving patrols on the famed span--was adequate. Nevertheless, Ules said, officers in the cars were told to keep "heads up" for potential jumpers, and the Highway Patrol was informed.

Don Alexander, vice president of corporate communications for the stock exchange, denied that anyone called bridge officials. "That's absolutely untrue," he said.

"The Pacific Stock Exchange never contacted anyone at the Golden Gate Bridge District on Monday or any other day concerning any fears about anyone jumping from the bridge."

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