TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A Chinese woman inspecting a ceramics factory in China's Hubei Province was suddenly and accidentally scooped up by a loader and dumped into a sand crusher, and local authorities have confirmed that she has died from "asphyxiation."
Video has surfaced on Weibo of a woman inspecting earthmovers in a ceramics factory at 9:44 a.m. on Feb. 24 in Zhicheng Township of Yidu City, according to a netizen who posted the video. The woman appears to direct a large blue truck, and as she warily watches it back up, a loader suddenly lurches forward and sweeps her off her feet and into its bucket.
The loader then plows into a mound of sand and scoops it up, burying the woman deeper inside the bucket. Apparently oblivious to the precarious position of the woman or her screaming, the driver of loader backs the machine up, before turning toward the sand crusher and dumping its contents inside.
Woman directing blue truck. (Screenshot from Weibo video)
It is only at this stage that the driver realizes what has happened because he can see the woman's upper body protruding from the top of the sand crusher and flailing for her life. The driver then bolts out of the vehicle and frantically tries to alert his comrades of the desperate situation.
By the end of the video, the woman has disappeared from view and the workers have yet to take decisive action. When the video was first released, it was not known whether or not she survived the ordeal.
On Monday (March 4) the Yidu City Safety Supervision Bureau confirmed that the woman died from "asphyxiation," and relevant authorities are investigating the incident, reported hk01. However, industry insiders believe that she was dumped into a vibrating sand crusher and suspect that the cause of death was listed as "asphyxiation" to conceal the truth.
Moments just before loader scoops woman up. (Screenshot from Weibo video)
Members of a Facebook group dedicated to trucking and heavy machinery also believed that the device the woman fell into was a sand crusher:
"She was probably drawn into the crusher."
"It's a vibratory sand crusher! Debris and dirt is thrown in to be crushed into fine sand."
"This looks to be a sand crusher. It takes stones and sandy soil and crushes it into smaller particles that are uniform in size."
Woman scooped into loader bucket. (Screenshot from Weibo video)
Loader with woman trapped in bucket moves forward. (Screenshot from Weibo video)
Loader dumps woman and sand into crusher. (Screenshot from Weibo video)
Head and arms of woman visible in sand crusher. (Screenshot from Weibo video)
Driver leaps out of cab. (Screenshot from Weibo video)