By Katie Nelson
Image credit: Xinhua
The body of a young woman who disappeared in March after falling down a manhole during a heavy rainstorm in Changsha was found in Hunan Province’s Xiangjiang River on Sunday, according to Shanghai Daily.
The body of the 21 year old college student, Yang Lijun, was found by a local resident after washing ashore the river nearly 90 kilometers away from where she first disappeared.
A DNA test confirmed Yang’s identity on Monday after being matched with samples taken from the her mother.
Yang, a college student in Beijing was in the city for a job offer. She was on her way back home with her friend when tragedy struck.
The two were walking in a single file in the floodwaters, which was about 30 to 40 centimeters deep. Yang’s friend, who was in front of her, saw her fall into the manhole and disappear.
The drainage hole was reportedly filled with poisonous marsh gas. The friend who was with Yang said she received a voicemail with Yang in it shortly after she fell. “It is freezing here,” Yang said in the voicemail, “Water is pouring all over me.”
An exhaustive search effort took place for the next two days, but was called off after more than 200 rescue personnel upturned and searched all 45 manholes on the route between where Yang fell and the Xiangjiang River. The river was also searched by ships sent by the Changsha maritime safety administration.
Authorities speculated that the manhole cover was lifted by the force of surging water underground, but came under fire when local reporters and residents questioned how the lid could have been so easily upturned.
Since then, over 500 safety nets have reportedly been installed in Changsha’s manholes.
On Tuesday it was reported that a two year old boy died after falling into an uncovered manhole in the same province.