A teenage Russian model, who was sent to China on a three-month assignment, died days after she went into a coma. The 14-year-old model, Vlada Dzyuba, was suffering from "utter exhaustion" and chronic meningitis after a difficult 13-hour fashion show in Shanghai.
Vlada was supposed to walk the ramp for the latest appearances but she collapsed. An ambulance was called and she was taken to the hospital, but she never gained consciousness. She died two days later.
The preliminary cause of death reveals that she died of meningitis compounded by severe exhaustion, The Siberian Times reported.
Oksana, her mother, said that Vlada was constantly tired and wanted to get sleep. It was
"She was calling me, saying 'Mama, I am so tired. I so much want to sleep. It must have been the very beginning of the illness... and then her temperature shot up. I didn't sleep myself and was calling her constantly, begging her to go to the hospital," Oksana told NTV.
According to reports, she was recruited by an agency on a "slave labour" contract without medical insurance. Officially, she was allowed to work for only three hours a week in China.
"No-one expected it to lead to such consequences. We are now reaping what we have sown," Mail Online quoted Elvira Zaitseva, the head of the Perm modelling agency behind her trip, as saying.
The teen's death has raised concerns over the working conditions for young models and the way they are harshly exploited. A number of girls from Russia and Siberia have been hired as a model and are recruited to China.
Meanwhile, Russia is expected to investigate the condition in which Vlada stayed and in China. Also, Kremlin human rights ombudsman in Perm, Pavel Mikov, will investigate the Vlada's death.