Beijing: In a bizzare incident, a pregnant woman in China has died after her neck got struck in a roadside guardrail, triggering discussions on social media over the safety of such facilities.
Pictures and video clips have made the rounds online showing a woman kneeling motionlessly with her neck trapped between the steel bars of a guardrail while several passersby tried in vain to break the rails.
The news was among the most-read topics today on Sina Weibo, a popular microblogging site, attracting heated debate on whether it was just a rare accident or had something to do with the rail’s defective design.
Police in Mizhi County, Shaanxi province said the death of the woman, who was eight months pregnant, on Monday was an accident.
Surveillance footage and an on-site investigation suggested the woman might have experienced dizziness and accidentally gotten her neck trapped while fainting beside the rail between the sidewalk and the vehicle lane, police said, adding that the exact cause of the death could not be determined until after an autopsy.
It is not the first reported death involving China’s roadside guardrails in recent years.
In 2013, a young woman died after reportedly trapping her neck in a guardrail in downtown Beijing.
In 2015, an elderly man died in a similar situation, also in Beijing.