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China shocked, singer dies under the scalpel

world Updated: Nov 28, 2010 12:52 IST

Chinese authorities have launched a probe into the death of an aspiring pop singer during plastic surgery, an incident that has sparked concerns about the dangers of going under the knife.

Wang Bei, 24, a former contestant on "Super Girl" - China's smash-hit answer to "American Idol" - died on November 15 during "facial bone-grinding surgery" in Wuhan, capital of the central province of Hubei.

"The Ministry of Health has tasked the Hubei health department to investigate and verify the situation... and to announce results of the probe to the public without delay," the ministry said in a statement on late Saturday.

Wang, whose beauty had made her a popular contestant on "Super Girl", died in an "anaesthetic accident" as she was having surgery, the official Xinhua news agency reported earlier, citing the local health bureau.

Her jaw suddenly started bleeding during the procedure, blocking her windpipe and causing her to suffocate, reports said.

Wang's mother was having the same procedure at the clinic when her daughter died.

Her death has fuelled concerns about the dangers of plastic surgery in a country where three million people go under the knife each year, according to figures published by state media.

Surging demand for cosmetic surgery has led to untrained doctors carrying out operations, "which is risky and irresponsible," Zhang Huabin, a professor of plastic surgery at southern China's Guangdong Medical College, was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

The health ministry has ordered increased supervision in the industry, according to the statement.