A Hong Kong student has died after falling during protests on Monday, sparking impromptu protests and vigils from pro-democracy activists.

Alex Chow fell from the ledge of a car park during a police operation to clear the area on Monday morning.

The exact circumstances of his fall are unclear, but reports said he was trying to get away from tear gas.

The 22-year-old’s death came after another week of political violence in Hong Kong.

On Wednesday a pro-Beijing lawmaker was stabbed in the street by a person pretending to be a supporter.

Mr Chow had been in a coma since Monday and was certified dead early on Friday, according to the hospital he was treated in.

Fellow students at the city’s University of Science and Technology called for an investigation into how Mr Chow fell, and why it took paramedics nearly 20 minutes to arrive. Amnesty International echoed that call.

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At the time of his fall, dozens of riot police were approaching, firing tear gas into the car park and surrounding areas to clear away protesters.

Police said they used tear gas to disperse protesters near the site but denied any wrongdoing, saying their actions had been justified.

Mr Chow’s death is expected to fuel more anger at the police, who are already under pressure as Hong Kong faces its worst crisis in decades.

Mourners queue to pay their respects at the car park where student Alex Chow, 22, fell during a recent protest in the Tseung Kwan O area on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong on November 8, 2019.

Mourners queue to pay their respects at the car park where student Alex Chow, 22, fell. Photo: Anthony WALLACE / AFP

“Today we mourn the loss of the freedom fighter in HK,” Joshua Wong, a pro-democracy campaigner, said on Twitter. “We will not leave anyone behind – what we start together, we finish together.”

Protesters gathered across the city, taking part in mourning events. Thousands left flowers at the spot in which he fell at the car park. Some people sang hymns.

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A 23-year-old student, who said she attended the same university as Mr Chow, told AFP news agency: “I think there should be an independent inquiry commission to investigate his death and other incidents that happened during the movement.”

Other people gathered in the shopping district of Causeway Bay, lining the streets in silence.

At Hong Kong’s University of Science and Technology, dozens of protesters vandalised a Starbucks, Bank of China and at least three cafeterias on site, the South China Morning Post reports.

They wrote “condemn police brutality” on the walls of the Starbucks store.

Protesters are calling for more demonstrations this weekend.

– BBC

Watch: Video journalist Dom Thomas explains the background to Hong Kong’s crisis: /radionz