Smoke kills student after TV explodes

09:13, April 26, 2011      

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A student died in her bed of smoke inhalation after a television set exploded in the building where she lived, starting a blaze.

Cai Shuwen, a sophomore at Shanghai Normal University, was sleeping in her fourth-floor home in the Pudong New Area when a TV in a second-floor apartment blew up on Saturday.

An elderly woman had been watching TV when the image suddenly disappeared. It is believed she went to seek help from neighbors and the property management company without first unplugging the set.

Neighbors in Pudong's Heqing Town said they heard a loud explosion at about 9:45am.

The elderly woman was safe, although the contents of her apartment were destroyed.

But Cai, despite sleeping with her windows open, died after inhaling smoke in the apartment building in the Yuandong Community.

A mother and her son living on the sixth floor were also at home when the explosion occurred. Unable to escape their apartment due to thick smoke on the staircase, they sheltered in the bathroom, covering their mouths and noses with wet towels.

They switched off the power and gas, kept in touch with the boy's father by cell phone and managed to leave the building after firefighters extinguished the flames at 10:30am.

Smoke rose into Cai's home, darkening the contents with soot.

University officials visited Cai's family on Saturday and offered psychological counselling to classmates yesterday.

Cai was a student at Women Culture Institute, which only admits excellent female students. Officials said she was a very good student and had received scholarships.

Source:Shanghai Daily
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