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China: Around The Nation

Outcry after Chinese residents block ‘unlucky’ removal of accident victim’s corpse by lift, stairs

Building worker died in fall and his body had to be lowered down side of building after property management firm, residents bar use of elevators, newspaper reports

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 February, 2017, 1:58pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 February, 2017, 2:07pm

Firefighters in central China had to use a pulley to lower the body of a construction worker killed in an accident outside the building he died in after its property management company and residents said using the lifts or stairs would be unlucky.

The worker in his 50s fell 13 storeys after he lost his balance on his ladder while plastering the exterior of a flat in the building in Wuhan in Hubei province on Monday, the Chutian Metropolis Daily reported.

The man fell onto a patio on the third floor of the block.

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The property firm that manages the building refused to let workers retrieve the corpse using lifts and stairs, saying it was inauspicious, according to the report.

Property owners in the building also asked for the body not to be transferred using the lifts, the report said.

The victim’s family had to call the fire department for help.

Firefighters eventually fastened the body to a stretcher and lowered it to the ground using a pulley, according to the report.

The incident caused a stir on social media, with much criticism of the flat owners’ lack of sympathy.

One person wrote: “Is it the case that indifferent people are all living in the same apartment complex? Or is it the case that indifferent people are everywhere?”

The comment was given more than 6,000 “likes”.

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Other users joked that the building would be haunted as the victim would not rest in peace because of resident’s lack of sensitivity.

Another popular comment on social media, addressed to the dead worker, said: “Do drop the property owners a visit from time to time.”