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Russian man remains in coma

2013-07-08 10:19 Global Times Web Editor: Sun Tian
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A Russian expatriate remained in a coma without brain function as of Sunday evening after apparently suffering a massive electric shock Friday at a public fountain in Huangpu district.

Doctors are waiting for the unidentified man's parents to come to Shanghai to make a decision about their son's end-of-life care, as they don't see much of a chance that he will recover, said a doctor surnamed Chen in Ruijin Hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

"Doctors are not optimistic about this man's condition. His body temperature has fallen and there are problems with his kidneys and liver. He has already undergone hemodialysis," said Ding Yanmin, a hospital press officer.

Chen told the Global Times that the man has lost brain function.

The city's exit and entry authorities are helping his parents gain entry to China from Siberia as soon as possible, the Shanghai Morning Post reported.

Witnesses had seen the victim playing with his dog in the fountains outside of the SML Center, a popular shopping mall on Xujiahui Road.

Witnesses said he entered the fountain in front of the mall around 8:15 pm while chasing after his dog. As soon as he stepped into the water, he began to convulse. He lost consciousness and fell face first into the water, the Youth Daily reported.

The man did not have a pulse when the ambulance arrived, though he later regained a heartbeat after receiving emergency treatment, Shanghai Television Station reported.

A witness named Zhu Jia and her colleagues had seen the man and his dog around noon in another fountain outside the center. "There is a similar fountain that belongs to the mall near the side door. The dog was sitting in the water, and the man was pouring water over its head to help it cool off," she told the Global Times.

The fountain is about 20 centimeters deep, starting slightly below ground level, the Shanghai Morning Post reported. It had been cordoned off after the incident, and the water had been drained out. Electric wires were attached to several metal installations inside.

The Shanghai Administration of Work Safety has started an investigation, the Oriental Morning Post reported. Although one official said the incident resulted from an electrical problem, authorities have yet to announce what caused the man's injury. His dog died at the scene.

For safety reasons, most fountains are equipped with automatic circuit breakers that cut the power when an electrical short occurs, according to a manager surnamed Zheng from Shanghai Nenghong, a company that builds fountains.

Zheng told the Global Times that property management companies are supposed to inspect a fountain's circuit breaker and wiring once a month.

The SML Center declined to comment Sunday.

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