A teenage Russian model died from exhaustion during a three-month modeling assignment in China, Fox News reported.
Vlada Dzyuba worked for 13 hours at a fashion show in Shanghai before she collapsed and went into a coma.
The girl never regained consciousness and died two days later. She reportedly suffered from chronic meningitis.
Dzyuba was prominent at this month’s Shanghai Fashion Week,the Daily Mail reported.
Some reports state that Dzyuba was engaged in a “slave labor” contract and feared speaking out. Officially she was to work only three hours a week.
Scores of Russian models work in China. Dzyuba’s death is raising questions about the conditions the girls work in.
Russia is expected to demand an explanation about the incident.
According to The Siberian Times, Dzyuba’s body temperature spike before she stepped on the catwalk.
“She was calling me, saying ‘Mama, I am so tired, I so much want to sleep,'” the girls mother, Oksana Dzyuba, said.
“It must have been the very beginning of the illness. And then her temperature shot up,” the mother continued. “I didn’t sleep myself and was calling her constantly, begging her to go to hospital.”
The mother was trying to get a visa so she could fly to see her before she died.
“No one expected it to lead to such consequences,” said the head of Dzyuba’s modeling agency, Elvira Zaitseva. “We are now reaping what we have sown.”
Zaitseva said she did not check Dzyuba’s contract to ensure the girl had health coverage. A prominent Chinese modeling agency recruited the girl.
Pavel Mikov, a human rights ombudsman from the Kremlin, is investigating the death.
Dzyuba’s manager in Russia, Dmitry Smirnov, has not yet commented on her death.
The girl’s family is appealing to authorities to demand answers about the death. They believe profits trumped other considerations, leading to Dzyuba’s demise, The Siberian Times reported.