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Woman suffocates after using foot massage machine on neck

The foot massage machine without its cloth cover that was used to massage the woman's neck is seen. (Photo courtesy of Hokkaido Prefectural Police)

SHARI, Hokkaido -- An elderly woman here suffocated after mistakenly using a foot massage machine on her neck, police said on July 28.

    It is thought that the 77-year-old woman decided to remove the cloth cover from her foot massage device and apply the roller part of the machine directly onto her neck. However, her clothes became entangled in the machine, causing her to lose consciousness. Her relatives later found her lying on the floor at home just after 10 a.m. on July 26, and although she was taken to the hospital, she did not survive.

    The massage machine is manufactured by Matoba Electric Manufacturing Co., which is based in the city of Kawagoe in Saitama Prefecture. According to Shari Police Station, the device is 44 centimeters wide and 33 centimeters long and consists of electronic rollers.

    Previously, similar incidents involving the same machine have occurred -- such as the death of a woman in Yamanashi Prefecture in May 2014 -- triggering demands for use of this particular device to be stopped.

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