A 92-year-old grandmother was killed while in her bed when a mechanical digger demolished her house in eastern China by mistake on Wednesday, according to a news website report.
The woman, whose full name was not given, died under the debris after the building collapsed, Thepaper.cn reported.
The authorities in Xuzhou in Jiangsu province said the woman’s home was knocked down by mistake when the digger was demolishing her neighbour’s house, the report said.
Police are investigating the incident.
Forced demolitions and evictions are often reported in China, where all land is legally owned by the government.
Eager to make way for new developments, local officials sometimes use intimidation and violence to make residents move out, triggering public anger.
The woman’s home had been due to be demolished after August 28 under a scheme to renovate the city’s shanty towns, but her family had applied to delay her moving out because the 92-year-old was in poor health.
“My mother was cooking when she saw dust coming from the backyard,” Wang’s grandson told reporters. “She went out to take a look, and then the house collapsed.”
“Everyone was scared and rushed to save my grandmother, but she had died by the time we dug her out,” he said.
The 29-year-old digger driver has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, the report said.