Child dies after being found in washing machine

A child has died after being found inside a washing machine in a New Zealand city, it has been reported.

The young child was unresponsive when they were found inside the front-loading machine in Christchurch, on South Island, reported.

Emergency responders were called to the Hoon Hay suburb at about 5pm on Friday.

The child was taken to hospital but later died.

“Police are making enquiries into the circumstances of the death and the coroner has been informed,” a New Zealand Police spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the child’s death was not being treated as suspicious.

Karolyn Potter, a local community board chair, told The New Zealand Herald the neighbourhood would rally around the child’s family. “This is a sadness that’s beyond talking about,” she said.

Dr Melanie Coker, a ward councillor, said the news was “absolutely heartbreaking”.

Such deaths are rare but not unknown.

In 2016 a three-year-old girl in Arksansas, in the US, died after climbing into a washing machine while her mother slept. The appliance started up automatically once the lid closed. The girl’s siblings said they were used to helping with laundry.

And in Delhi, India, in 2017 two twins drowned after climbing into an open machine in the “six minutes” their mother was outside buying detergent. It was thought the boys had climbed onto a pile of clothes to look inside, and then fallen into the water that was already in the device.

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