Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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Mother Killed After Being Pushed By Her Toddler Into Elevator Shaft

elevator china

(Photo : Reuters) Lift malfunction appears to be the most common reason behind deadly elevator accidents in China.

A Chinese mother died after her three-year-old son appeared to have been pushed her into an elevator shaft.

The 45-year-old Xie Hong Feng was reportedly searching for her lost house keys with her toddler when she fell to her death last Saturday in the eastern city of Ningbo. Aside from the toddler and Xie, the building landlord, 52-year-old Yang Shao, was also at the scene when the tragic incident happened.

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Yang helped Xie to search for the keys at about 9:00 a.m. Yang said they struggled to open the lift doors on the fifth floor to search for the keys below the lift's shaft.  Xie accidentally dropped her keys into the gap between the lift and the fifth floor.

"She was taking some rubbish out but on the way down dropped her keys and she wanted me to help her get them," Yang recalled.  "I told her I would manually move the lift up one story while keeping the door open so she could try and get her keys."

The landlord turned her back for a few moments and was shocked to see that Xie was gone. When Yang asked the toddler where his mother was, the boy said he had pushed her. 

Yang was horrified to see the body of Xie at the bottom of the shaft. She immediately called the police.

In an interview, Xie's husband and the boy's father, Mr. Tang, expressed grief and sorrow over the incident.

"The thing that makes me the saddest is that my wife has gone and my son will have to carry the blame for his whole life," Tang said. 

Police said there were no surveillance cameras installed on the apartment hallway, apart from those installed inside the lifts. They have no way of knowing what really happened, they added.

Authorities said no charges will be filed as the incident appears to be an accident.

There had been a number of deadly elevator accidents in China --- mostly due to lift malfunction.  

A video had gone viral in September 2014 showing a student being crushed by a lift in a China university.  The lift started to move upwards just as the student was stepping in, causing his body to be crushed in between the elevator door and the floor.

In May 2013 another deadly elevator accident happened in Shenzhen District when a woman was beheaded after a lift malfunction. The 24-year old nurse got trapped in an elevator when it stopped due to mechanical failure.

The lift door was open, so the victim attempted to get out. Just as when she was about to exit, the lift fell three floors down killing the woman.

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