Corpse ban in building’s lift angers family of dead relative

Family had to carry mother’s body down 17 flights of stairs

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 June, 2018, 5:41pm
UPDATED : Monday, 18 June, 2018, 6:29pm

A family had to carry their mother’s body down 17 flights of stairs in a residential block in eastern China after a notice from neighbours said dead people could not take the lift.

Relatives of Gu Latai, who died aged 95, had to carry the coffin all the way from their 17th floor flat to the ground floor, on June 9, to get to her funeral procession. Neighbours had posted a notice banning dead people from the lift the day before, according to news website The Observer. The report did not say if the ban was connected to Gu’s death.

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Her daughter, Xu Apo, from Wuxi in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, was quoted as saying that although the family thought the demand unreasonable, they did not want people to gossip about her mother and so opted to accept it.

“When I got home and thought about it I was really angry,” she said. “There is a large freight lift in the building. Why can’t someone who has passed away use it?”

A spokesperson said: “This lift cannot be used by people who have passed away – it was the residents who agreed on this. Some of the residents of the 15 houses here care, and so posted such a notice.”

The incident drew the attention of internet users, with many people criticising the notice.

“Anyone could have died that day. Lots of our buildings have elderly people in them – is every one of them going to have to take the stairs? This is so disrespectful to the dead,” one said.

“Do they represent everyone? Have they consulted the majority of residents in the building in advance?“ said another.

Others thought the feelings of neighbours should be taken into consideration, with one person saying he did not mind if dead people were transported in the lift, but “there are definitely people who are afraid, like young people and women”.