SHANGHAI: Shanghai police have ruled out foul play and cast doubt on allegations that overwork contributed to the death of a 14-year-old Russian model after she took part in Shanghai Fashion Week last month.
The death of Vlada Dzyuba in a Shanghai hospital on October 27 threw a spotlight on the murky world of foreign models in China — many from the former Soviet Union — and raised questions over why a minor was working abroad without a proper guardian.
A Shanghai police statement released late Friday said Dzyuba died of multiple organ failure stemming from a suspected central nervous system infection, possibly meningitis.
“A forensic examination found no violent injuries on the surface of the body, routine blood tests were negative, and no abnormalities were found,” the statement said.
English-language newspaper The Siberian Times had alleged that Dzyuba, from the city of Perm, died of meningitis compounded by exhaustion following “a gruelling fashion show in Shanghai”.
But the Chinese agency representing Dzyuba, ESEE Model Management, has vehemently denied the claim.
Shortly after her death, ESEE reproduced a medical report from Ruijin Hospital in Shanghai that gave the cause of death as septicaemia, a type of bacterial blood poisoning.
The teen, who despite her youth was allowed to model under Chinese law, died without her family at her side because her mother could not travel to China in time.
Her body was returned to Russia on November 11, Shanghai police said.
Shortly after Dzyuba’s death, Russian investigators in Perm opened a probe into whether her death was caused by negligence, TASS state news agency reported, citing regional investigators.-AFP