A 27-year-old woman has died after plunging five storeys out of a fire exit leading to thin air.

The accident occurred at a KTV (karaoke lounge) in Zhumadian, a city in the central province of Henan, on February 11, according to local media.

Guo Xia, a mother of two, was at a gathering with her former classmates in a karaoke lounge on the fifth floor. Guancha cited staff as saying that Guo left the noisy room to take a call.

Photo: Screenshot/City Channel.

In the hallway, she opened a door marked with an illuminated sign saying: “safety exit,” only to step into thin air and plunge ten metres to the ground.

One of her classmates who was in the KTV room told local outlet City Channel: “We were here for about an hour and ten minutes, then we heard them yelling downstairs that something had happened.”

The fire exit. Photo: Screenshot/City Channel.

They ran outside to find Guo lying on the ground and called emergency services, but they were unable to save her.

According to Guancha, the establishment did not have a business licence.

Photo: Screenshot/City Channel.

The manager of the KTV venue has been criminally detained for negligence resulting in death. Guo’s family are negotiating compensation.

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Catherine Lai

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.