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A district government in western China confirmed on Saturday that a woman who was trapped in a broken down lift for 30 days “possibly starved to death”, the Beijing Times reported.

Two lift servicemen, “directly responsible” for the accident in Xian, Shaanxi province, had been arrested, the Gaoling district government said.

The lift stopped between the 10th and 11th floors of a block of flats when a cable broke on January 30.

The maintenance crew knocked on the closed-door and asked if anyone was inside. Hearing no response, they cut off the power supply and asked residents to use the other lift in the building.

On Tuesday last week, the servicemen returned to fix the problem but found a woman’s body after they opened the door.

READ MORE: Woman dies after being trapped by neck in China lift accident

The report did not say why it took the maintenance crew one month to return to complete the job.

“Her hands were distorted… there were scratches on the wall, it was horrible,” said a resident who lived in the building.

The district government said police had conducted a preliminary post mortem and found no obvious signs of external injury and ruled out the possibility of homicide.

The servicemen had not strictly followed guidelines and opened the lift to make sure it was empty before cutting off the power, the government said.

The victim, 43, lived alone. Residents said they did not hear any unusual noises from the lift during the period.

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