Tragedy strikes Wuhan gym, weightlifting mishap claims a young man’s life

CHINA: A 25-year-old man in Wuhan, Hubei, was bench-pressing at the gym last Friday (15 Sept) afternoon when a barbell weighing hundreds of kilograms fell onto his throat, suffocating him. He lapsed into a coma and died despite resuscitation efforts.

The young man, later identified as Zhang, is seen in a video lying on the bench press. He carefully removed the barbell from the rack and lowered it to his chest. However, as he tried to lift the barbell, it appeared too heavy for him, and it slipped, falling onto his throat.

Once the barbell was pressing down on Zhang’s throat, he struggled to push it away with both hands, but it wouldn’t budge. This agonizing struggle lasted for over a minute until his hands weakened and his legs became motionless.

Chinese media reported that the incident took place after 3 pm on Friday. A gym instructor, upon discovering Zhang, quickly lifted the barbell, called an ambulance, and attempted CPR. Tragically, Zhang was pronounced dead at 4:30 pm.

A fellow gym attendee, who preferred to remain unnamed, disclosed that Zhang was using a friend’s membership and had chosen to work out alone. No one was observing him when he lifted the barbell, and the accident went unnoticed.

The gym manager stated that Zhang was a regular, often lifting barbells weighing over 100 kilograms. “Everyone has a physical limit. He overestimated his strength, leading to this unfortunate event.”

The report also highlighted that the gym spans more than 300 square meters. At the incident’s time, four trainers were busy coaching other members. Since Zhang was an experienced gym-goer, they did not supervise him closely.

The gym manager expressed remorse, stating, “Regardless of the police investigation’s outcome, we are committed to compensating Zhang’s family appropriately.” The police are currently further investigating the incident.

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