Woman Trapped in Elevator Starves to Death
Repair crew left her trapped in there, officials say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 6, 2016 1:30 PM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The discovery of a woman's corpse in an elevator in the Chinese city of Xi'an has led to the detention of an elevator maintenance crew who improperly cut off power to the elevator a month ago without checking if anyone was inside, the AP reports. In a statement posted Saturday, the Gaoling district government says two maintenance workers turned off the power source on Jan. 30 to the elevator in a residential building after they were called to check on a glitch. When a crew returned a month later, on March 1, for repairs, they found a female corpse there. She apparently starved to death, the LA Times reports. She was identified as a 43-year-old resident named Wu who was living by herself. According to local media, she was mentally ill and her family thought she had just wandered off somewhere. Seems they reported her missing, to no avail.

"There’s now a shadow across my heart," says a resident in the complex. "To think of this happening in one’s own building." Police ruled out any foul play but concluded her death was caused by the gross negligence on the part of the maintenance crew in a case of involuntary manslaughter, per the government. Property managers say workers made sure no one was in the elevator, but police say workers just shouted to see if anyone was inside. China has poor records on workplace safety where proper safety procedures and practices are routinely ignored. In July, a Chinese woman was killed when she was swallowed by a mall escalator when a metal platform on top of the escalator suddenly caved in. She was holding her two-year-old son then but tossed the child to safety when she fell into the crevice. (A mall employee lost a foot in another horrific China escalator incident.)