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7-year-old boy dies after being locked inside washer-dryer

26 Comments

A 7-year-old boy died earlier this month after being trapped inside a washer-dryer at his home in Tokyo's Ome area.

According to police, the incident occurred late on the evening of June 7 or early June 8, Fuji TV reported.

The boy's mother said she had put her son to bed at around 11 p.m. on June 7, but when she looked in on him two hours later, he was not in his bed. Shortly after, she found him unconscious in the washer-dryer and called 119.

Paramedics found the boy in a state of cardiac arrest and rushed him to the hospital where he passed away shortly thereafter.

Police said the boy had gotten into the drum and was trapped after the door closed behind him, locking him in.

The washer-dryer had only been installed on June 7.

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26 Comments
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What a horrible thing to happen. Poor boy

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yep! This is horrid! But, I have to know why a seven year old kid was going to bed at 11pm and why his mother didn't hear the washer start up? Was it an extremely large house? A tragic accident is the 'probable' cause, but my suspicions are aroused.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Terrible news to read. RIP

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I can't hear our washer from most parts of our house.

It's not clear from the wording of the article whether the wash cycle actually started, or if it just locked in preparation for that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Poor kid! I saw this on Jiji press yesterday and for some reason it kept talking about South Korea having the same type of washer. Anyone know the context?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think 'automatically locking' is the phrase they were looking for, not that the washer started on it's own. It can't start, but the door locks shut when closed.

NHK and FNN's reports said that the door locks automatically when it's shut, and can't be opened from the inside. In addition, the seals on the machine are quite tight to prevent water leakage out the door. The poor boy suffocated.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Wow...this sucks....poor kid!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The boy’s mother said she had put her son to bed at around 11 p.m.

Um! we went to bed at 7pm until we were at least 12 years. Something smells in this story because I find it difficult to accept a child gets out of his bed and then climbs into a washer-dryer and then somehow closes the door which are not spring loaded. If the child was in bed and asleep and the mother was also asleep again I would find it unusual that after 2 hours she gets up to check on the child.

Some company needs to come up with a lock just can be fitted to those front loading machines.

The death of the young child is very sad.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Disillusioned....

11 pm is a common time for Japanese kids to sleep. They normaly lay down with mom until they fall asleep. And don't have their own room until 10 or older.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

kept talking about South Korea having the same type of washer. Anyone know the context?

I have a front loading LG washing machine. It locks in the same way that a car door handle must be pressed before the door can be pulled open.

I assume they are contrasting this with the ubiquitous top loading machines in Japan (which you can probably just push your way out of). But these days Japanese manufacturers are also producing front loading machines, do these not also use the same mechanism as all front loading machines in Korea and elsewhere?

2 ( +1 / -0 )

Machines don't auto turn on when you close the door, How did he die? Not enough air?

3 ( +3 / -1 )

Smiths japan, kids in SK have died the same way.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't read anything in the article about the machine switching itself on, just that the door was locking itself.

Fairly common for kids getting stuck in an appliance(fridges, etc) that can't be opened from the inside. The door would also be airtight and thus limited air to breath available.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He didn't turn on the washing machine, he suffocated because the door closed and there was no chance to open it from the inside (watch the news on TV). Why does it matter when it happened or when he went or not went to bed, such things can happen at any time of the day. Also the article doesn't say that his mother went to bed too aswell.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I was locked in the fridge for about 15 minutes when I was about 3 or 4. Mum kept calling me but all she got was a faint reply. Finally found me before anything bad happened tho.

It's pretty clear moon for kids to crawl into small places. But you'd think a 7 year old would be a bit smarter than to crawl into a washing machine.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Smithinjapan, sorry I mistyped your name!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Disillusioned "why his mother didn't hear the washer "

It wasn't washing, the child just was trapped inside and died from a lack of air.

@smithinjapan "I saw this on Jiji press yesterday and for some reason it kept talking about South Korea having the same type of washer. Anyone know the context?"

Similar incidents have happened in South Korea, so rules were changed and front loaders are now required to have doors that can be opened from the inside.

One report I saw said the boy showed a great deal of interest in the new washer when it was delivered and installed that day. I can imagine him being excited enough to get out of bed and go to have another look at the new appliance.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

How on Earth does a child manage to lock himself into a front loading washing machine? It is not possible to close the door from the inside.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

my friend has the same model of washing machine. Its impossible to fit a 7 year old kid inside without having to bend him with such difficulty, and even with that to close the door all by himself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Had the boy got in an argument with his mother or father? If it was that late, why would that boy even attempt to go inside the washing machine. This is the weirdest way for someone to lose their life ... First time ever to hear this kind of story ..... and she looked in on him at 1:00 a.m. I found that a bit unusual I guess .... but then again maybe not. Just a really odd way for one to lose their life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Himajin and M3M3M3: Thanks, guys. I was wondering what it was talking about because I only saw a pic of the headline and a news crew at the washer, and saw the Japanese subtitle reading "Korea also has the same type of washer". The washer I used when I was there was a plain old lid-on-top washing machine. Anyway, I was curious, so thanks (and himajin, no worries about the name. :))

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thanks for the explanation himajin:)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can't understand all the people who are saying "this story sounds fishy". It's horrible and we all wish it didn't happen bu children have been locking themselves into large appliances since they were invented. Kids are very curious, they have to check things out for themselves. That's why in the US it's illegal to dispose of a refrigerator or freezer without removing the door first, if not you can be fined or arrested. There have been stories of children crawling inside junked fridges/freezers and owners getting sent to jail.

11 pm is not that late for some families. My mother firmly believed in 8 hours sleep every night, that meant a 11 pm bedtime and we woke up at 7-730 am. Not anything wrong with that at all. I live in the US and remember falling to sleep listening to Johnny Carson at night. (later in life I used to fall asleep every time I turned on The Tonight Show, lol).

This one really surprises me--questioning a parent for checking on their kids at night? I checked on my son almost every time I got up to go to the bathroom at night, it's totally understandable for a parent to check on their kids, sometimes more than once during the night.

And it's totally easy to pull any door in behind you, nothing questionable about this.

Right away people NEED somebody to blame and start questioning the mother.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

imagine a 10 kg kid, 120 cm long fit into the washing machine. Yes it is more compact than the regular washing machine because you can't fit it inside the house. With both legs bent, that's gonna take more space. How can he possibly pull the door all by himself? And the mother did not take out the kid from the washing machine either. She called the paramedics with the kid still locked inside and the first thing she said is the washing machine maker is at fault.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People you need to go to a store and see the new machines to understand better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I kind of thought this story was fishy when I first read it, but apparently, this kind of accident is pretty common. Some makers have even installed mechanisms on the inside of the machine so that it can be unlocked from the inside.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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