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Electrocuted woman's family accepts redress

AUTHORITIES in Hangzhou said yesterday that relatives of a female swine flu patient who was accidentally electrocuted in her hospital ward bathroom on Wednesday had signed an agreement with the hospital over compensation.

The No. 1 People's Hospital of Xiaoshan District in Hangzhou agreed to pay the family 950,000 yuan (US$139,700) for the death of Lou Yihong, 34, said a spokesman for the district's special working group responsible for looking into the incident.

Lou was admitted on June 23 to the hospital in Zhejiang Province after being diagnosed with H1N1.

She had been recovering and her temperature had been normal for a week before her death. She still had a minor cough, but other flu symptoms had disappeared, according to the Hangzhou Municipal Health Bureau.

She was found dead in her ward lavatory by a nurse at 7:35am on Wednesday.

The death prompted more than 50 of her relatives to protest at the hospital from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday, damaging the inside of the buildings and an ambulance with rocks. They also smashed glass in the hall and a flower terrace in front of the hospital.

"The patient died of electrocution caused by a leakage of electricity from electrical circuits in her ward bathroom while she was taking a shower," public security, health and quality supervision departments said in a joint statement on Friday following an autopsy.

Lou's relatives initially demanded compensation of 4 million yuan. Her body was cremated on Friday.


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