A 14-year-old Russian teen model collapsed from exhaustion during a 13-hour fashion show in Shanghai, China. After being hospitalized, she was found to be suffering from previously undiagnosed meningitis, which was exacerbated by sheer exhaustion from overwork. Under Chinese law, the teenager was only allowed to work three hours a week.

Teen model collapses during modeling assignment

Vlada Dzvuba was on a three-month modeling assignment in Shanghai, China, where by law, she was only allowed to work three hours each week. However, according to local sources, the teenager had been recruited on what they termed a “slave labor contract,” working long hours with no medical insurance.

She collapsed at a modeling event and died in the hospital.

Shortly before taking to the catwalk again during a Shanghai fashion show, Dzyuba collapsed. She was rushed to hospital by ambulance where the teenager spent two days in a coma, never regaining consciousness before she passed away on Friday. As reported by the International Business Times, Dzyuba was found to be suffering from meningitis, which had gone untreated and had been made worse by sheer exhaustion from overwork. According to a report by the Siberian Times, the hospital is running further tests to confirm the official cause of death of the 14-year-old Russian model.

Mother wanted to be with the teen model in hospital

Oksana Dzyuba, the teen model’s mother, had tried to get a visa to travel to China to be with her daughter in the hospital, but was unable to get the visa in time. The Siberian Times quotes the mother telling NTV that her daughter had called her several times, complaining about overwork and lack of sleep.

She said Vlada kept telling her she was so tired, adding this must have been at the start of her meningitis. She kept begging her daughter to visit the hospital. However, the teen had been recruited with no medical insurance and reportedly shortly before she collapsed at the modeling event, her temperature shot up. Relatives are now concerned that the modeling agency’s desire for profit had overshadowed the elementary care of the young model.

Russian officials are launching an investigation into the circumstances relating to Dzyuba’s death, along with her living conditions in Shanghai during the three-month long assignment. The International Business Times reports that it is apparently common for teenagers from Siberia and Russia to be recruited by Chinese modeling agencies, with concern now being shown about the harsh working conditions faced by the young models.