A woman from the central Chinese city of Xian has died in an elevator of the apartment building where she was living after remaining trapped in it for over a month.
The police found the woman’s body, which had begun decomposing, on March 1, and launched an investigation, news portal NetEase reported on Sunday.
“The scene was inhumane. We think she starved to death in there,” one of the residents, Xiao Lin, told reporters.
Another resident only named Wang said the elevator was full of markings of the victim’s desperate attempts to get out.
Chinese media wondered how it was possible that the woman’s corpse went unnoticed by the building’s residents for over 30 days, although it could be that several residents may have been away on travels to other parts of China during the customary Lunar New Year festivities in February.
Moreover, the apartment building where the incident occurred has two elevators, and it was possible the residents paid little attention to the broken elevator and opted to use the other one.
Another mystery is how the woman went missing for a month without family or friends reporting her absence to the authorities.
The woman was identified as a 43-year-old resident who was living by herself. 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, the government said.
In July 2015, 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 threw the child to safety when she fell.