Jesus. It was only six hours ago that I wrote, regarding balcony railings, “When until — heavens forbid — a young child actually falls through?” At 2:41 pm today, China News posted a video from a Shenzhen TV station (embedded) reporting that yesterday, a three-year-old girl died after falling off a fourth-story balcony. According to the father, who is interviewed in the video, the girl woke up from her nap and began milling about when she couldn’t find anyone home (both parents work, and the person they asked to look after her had supposedly gone out to buy groceries). She found her way outside, and that’s when tragedy struck.
The father says their balcony railings are spaced too far apart. Incidentally, national regulations for balcony construction exist for residential buildings, according to the news report: railings should not be spaced more than 11 centimeters apart.
We’re then told that there was a separate incident recently, in Foshan, involving a mother and her daughter, a fifth-grader. The two were leaning against a balcony railing when the railing broke — the nightmare of acrophobics everywhere. We’re not told how far the two fell, but the daughter died and the mother suffered serious injuries.