Woman Found Dead After Being Trapped in Elevator for a Month in China

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An elevator is seen in a file image. (Credit: Daniel Lin / Flickr via Creative Commons)

Elevator maintenance men returning to work after a month-long break for Chinese New Year made a horrific discovery last week when they opened the cab of a broken lift and found the body of a woman who had been trapped inside since late January and starved to death.

The gruesome incident in the western city of Xi’an, renowned as the home of China’s Terra Cotta Warriors, has sparked outrage over the apparent negligence of the elevator repair company and the building’s management office.

The property managers told the Beijing Youth Daily that the elevator cab was returned to the first floor and taken out of service after workers had “confirmed” that no one was inside. But police investigators said workers simply shouted to check whether anyone was inside and did not open the cab to perform a visual inspection, the news magazine Caixin reported.

Authorities said the case involved “gross negligence” on the part of the elevator maintenance company and at least one “responsible person” has been detained in connection with the investigation, according to the magazine. The case has been classified as a negligent homicide.

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