Woman dies as ironing machine catches hair

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 July, 2009, 12:00am

An 18-year-old woman described as 'a very good sister' died after her hair got caught between the rollers of a commercial ironing machine in a Tuen Mun laundry yesterday.

The woman, who had been studying at night school and was awaiting the results of her Form Five examination, was declared dead at the laundry by paramedics.

The accident occurred at about 4pm, when she was operating an ironing and folding machine in the laundry on the eighth floor of the Hanway Industrial Building in San On Street.

Workers at the laundry said the woman's hair became trapped between two large rollers and they could not switch off the machine.

The laundry was sealed off for investigation by police and Labour Department officers.

The woman was the fourth child of a family from Pakistan with seven children, who live in Yat Tai House, Fu Tai Estate, Tuen Mun.

Although she was born in Pakistan, she was raised in Hong Kong and all members of the family are Hong Kong residents. The woman was introduced to work in the laundry four months ago by her father, who worked there as a driver for years but retired recently.

She was paid about HK$5,000 a month to work from 8am to 6pm.

The family, including her father, rushed to the scene, several breaking down in tears.

'She was a very good sister. She studied hard and worked hard. She had just finished her Form Five education and was waiting for results of the public examination,' an elder sister, who did not give her name, said.

She said her sister studied at night and worked in the daytime to help the family.

Holding her sister's belongings in her hand, she said: 'Her colleagues told me that they saw her hair stuck in the machine but they could not turn it off ... They were all shocked.'

She added that the family had been asked to leave the factory as officers were investigating inside.

Police said there was nothing suspicious about the death.

The Labour Department said it would not comment while an investigation was continuing.