A three-year-old boy suffocated and died after his elder sibling "shut him inside" a washing machine while his parents were sleeping. The couple got up in the middle of the night to find that the child was not next to them before finding his breathless body in the machine.
The incident is said to have taken place in Gubkinsky, a Russian town with a population of just 23,000-odd people that is located on the left bank of the Pyakapur River, south of Salekhard, on December 13. The Investigative Committee of Russia's Investigative Directorate for the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug reported that an ambulance was called to the residence and that a pre-investigation probe has been launched by the authorities.
According to the Daily Mail, the victim was helped out of the cot by his elder sibling so the two could play a game. Then, during the game, the sibling — whose age and sex has not been revealed — is believed to have shut the three-year-old inside the washing machine.
Speaking about the incident, local law enforcement official Elena Demyanova said that the investigators had "established that the spouses found their small son missing from his cot when they woke," and that "according to the parents, they found their son in the washing machine." The cause of the boy's death was stated as asphyxia, and further investigations are currently underway.
The tragedy is not the first of its kind either, with a similar incident occurring on December 4 in the city of Yelizovo in the country's Kamchatka region. In that particular case, a nine-year-old boy had climbed into a washing machine and closed the door from the inside, following which he was unable to get out and suffocated to death inside.
The Mail reported on that occasion that the boy was found with marks on his elbow and back, which indicated that he had desperately tried to escape from the washing machine before he suffocated. The nine-year-old was eventually found by his mother after she returned from her job at a kindergarten and he was declared dead upon the arrival of an ambulance.
Such incidences are not confined to Russia alone. According to the Khaleej Times, a four-year-old Emirati boy died after drowning in a washing machine this past week in a villa in Al Rawda, Ajman. He is said to have gotten inside the front-load washing machine and closed its door, prompting the washer to turn on. He was later found by his mother as she came to pick him up, with his uncle having to break down the door of the machine to retrieve the child.