Woman found dead in elevator a month after maintenance workers cut power off

Police say the two men were negligent for not checking if there was someone inside

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The Independent Online

A Chinese building maintenance crew has been detained by police after a woman was found dead in an elevator shaft that had its power wrongly cut off a month earlier. 

The Gaoling district government in the north-western city of Xi’an in Shaanxi province said two maintenance workers had turned off the power source on 30 January in a residential building after they were called to fix a glitch. 

But they failed to carry out a safety check to see if anyone was inside before pulling the plug. 

When the maintenance crew returned on 1 March to carry out repairs they found a female corpse inside.

The woman has not been named but was preliminarily identified as a 43-year-old resident who lived alone. 

Police have ruled out foul play but said her death was caused by gross negligence on the part of the maintenance crew - and that the case was being treated as involuntary manslaughter. 

China has a poor track record when it comes to health and safety.

In July, a Chinese woman in Jingzhou in the centre of the country was swallowed by a mall escalator when the metal top suddenly caved in. 

She managed to push her two-year-old to safety but died of her injuries. 

A month later, 12 government officials and company executives in Tianjin were detained over a huge warehouse explosion which killed 145 workers. 

Chinese man falls down elevator shaft

Additional reporting by AP