A mum of two has tragically died after riding into a metal wire strung across a road outside a Chinese village to stop visitors amid a coronavirus lockdown.
Wang Zhiyun, 53, was declared dead shortly after paramedics attended the scene of the accident outside the village of Sundexiang, which is in the town of Qinglan in North China’s Hebei Province, on 12th March.
Village secretary Liu Jia said a patrolling disease-control staff member had spotted Ms Wang riding towards the entrance of the locked-down village, but she did not stop despite his attempts to wave and flag her down.
She rode directly into the 3-foot high metal wire, which is believed to have caused fatal lacerations to her neck. Paramedics later carried her off her pedicab and pronounced her dead at the scene, Mr Jia noted.
The official told local media: “On the wire, there was a very obvious cloth, a jersey, and a 3-foot warning sign reading: ‘Visitors forbidden from entering village.’”
Ms Wang, who lives in the neighbouring village of Yuewangzhuang, is said to have ridden into Qinglan Town to sell vegetables, but it is why she attempted to enter Sundexiang.
Reports have speculated she wanted to take a shortcut home, but Mr Liu said that would not have been possible as the village now only has one entrance and exit.
A former road leading out of the village had been sealed off in October 2019, he said.
Mr Jia defended his lockdown measures by saying: “The country has not laid out clear rules about how villages should be put on lockdown, and they do not forbid the use of metal wires.
“The wire is tied to a tree, and the other end is locked. Its purpose is to prevent villagers from entering and exiting.
“Anyone who wants to leave must be registered. The lock is only opened after their exit is approved. The same goes for any visiting non-residents.”
Mum-of-two Ms Wang, whose younger child is a young aged 16, has been returned to her family, who are in talks over compensation.
According to Mr Jia, Sundexiang has offered the family 180,000 RMB (20,815 GBP) in compensation, but they turned it down.
Officials with Qinglan Town, which ordered all villages locked down on 6th February, are mediating negotiations, but reports did not say whether Mr Liu would be investigated for his village’s travel restriction measures.
The Wang family is expected to sue the village for negligence, reports noted.
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