A 4-year-old girl fell to death from a public housing block in northern Hong Kong after her father was suspected to have left her and his younger daughter at home on Friday.

Emergency personnel were called to Butterfly Estate on Wu Chui Rd in Tuen Mun at 2.18pm, after receiving a report from a security guard.

"The guard called police after she found the girl unconscious outside Tip Mo House in the estate," a police spokesman said.

The child was taken to Tuen Mun Hospital, where she was certified dead about an hour later.

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Investigation showed the incident happened after the girl's father left his daughters at home, according to the police source.

The source said the younger daughter was found to be safe in the family's flat on the 15th floor.

The father is divorced, and lives with his three daughters. The eldest daughter was not home at the time of the incident.

Officers located the father when he returned home.

The source said the man was likely to be arrested for ill-treatment or neglect of a child, an offence carrying a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.

According to statistics from the Social Welfare Department, there were 789 newly reported child abuse cases in the first nine months of 2019.

Among the 789 reports, 62.8 per cent involved the victims' parents, while 23.4 per cent were related to neglect.

The number of child abuse cases hit a 14-year high in 2018 when the department recorded 1064 new incidents.

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- South China Morning Post