n Tuesday evening, a seven-month pregnant woman stepped out of her husband’s car after arriving back home in their Hangzhou neighborhood and immediately fell down a 4-meter-deep well.
Firefighters soon rushed to the scene, pulling the woman out of the hole and rushing her to the hospital. However, doctors were unable to save her life or the life of her unborn child.
In the aftermath of this tragic incident, questions have emerged about the structural integrity of the manhole cover on top of the well. A local reporter for Zhejiang Twenty-Four Hours was told that back in May one of the manhole covers in the area had been damaged and warning signs were placed around it to prevent people from falling in.
However, the property manager told the reporter that the damaged manhole cover had been fixed, though he was not able to confirm if it was the same one that the woman had fallen down.
Checking over other manhole covers in the community, the reporter discovered that the covers were not made of metal, but of a plastic-like material. He also found that the covers were often concealed under a layer of dirt and weeds, meaning that the woman likely hadn’t realized she was stepping onto one.
On Thursday morning, the maker of the manhole cover revealed that the cover had been “improperly installed.” The cover was one made for lawns and supporting the weight of people, not for parking lots and supporting the weight of cars. It’s possible that the added burden caused the cover to become damaged so that it collapsed underneath the woman.
Police are currently conducting an investigation and have yet to release their findings, however, on Weibo, Chinese netizens are accusing the construction company that built the residential community of cheaping out, directly leading to the pregnant woman’s tragic death.
[Images via Hangzhou Daily]