A 14-year-old Russian model died after working an arduous 12-hour fashion show in Shanghai. Vlada Dzyuba is said to have collapsed just before walking out onto the catwalk.
The teenage model reportedly suffered chronic meningitis "compounded by severe exhaustion" and remained in a coma for two days before dying, The Siberian Times reported. Vlada collapsed after her temperature rose as she waited her turn.
It is claimed that Vlada was too "scared" to request medical help. She also reportedly worked more than her contract's three hour a week maximum.
According to The Independent, she was allegedly unable to be taken to hospital for treatment because she did not have medical insurance. It is unclear why Vlada did not have medical insurance as she was on a three-month contract with a prominent Chinese modeling agency.
Vlada had a "personal curator" named Dmitry Smirnov, The Siberian Times added. It is also unclear if or what role he played in seeking medical care for the teenage model.
The girl's mother, Oksana Dzyuba, was unable to get to her daughter before she died because her last-minute visa was not approved in time, the Independent reported.
"She was calling me, saying 'Mama, I am so tired. I so much want to sleep," Oksana told the television programme NTV. "It must have been the very beginning of the illness...and then her temperature shot up."
Oksana added: "I didn't sleep myself and was calling her constantly, begging her to go to hospital."
Vlada's family has reached out to Russian diplomats for help to get answers regarding the conditions under which she lived, worked and died.
China is ramping up its recruitment of young models, often between 14 and 16, from Russia and Siberia to work catwalk shows.