Malaysian student dies after 108kg barbell falls on his neck in gym

AMPANG JAYA (Selangor) • A student in Malaysia died after a barbell fell on him while he was training in a gym.

Mr Wang Zongren, 20, was lifting a 108kg barbell when it fell on his neck, causing his death. A friend who was in the same gym suspected that Mr Wang was trying to push his body to the limit when he lost control of the barbell due to fatigue, causing it to slip from his hands.

The freak accident happened in a fitness centre in Ampang Jaya in Selangor at about 8pm on Tuesday. Mr Wang was a fitness enthusiast who studied in the Malaysian Institute of Art. He was also a part-time real estate agent, Malaysia's China Press reported.

His friend said there were five people, including Mr Wang, at the gym during the accident. Three of them were in the prayer room, while he went out to have a smoke.

"I asked him to wait for me before I left. When I returned, however, he was unconscious and the barbell was on his neck," the friend said.

He sought help from the other three people immediately. They moved the barbell together and called the hospital for help.

Mr Wang was pronounced dead after the medics arrived.

According to China Press, Mr Wang used to weigh about 100kg, but his weight dropped to about 80kg after he went to the gym regularly. His friend said Mr Wang went to the gym five days a week.

His friend said that during the incident, Mr Wang was bench-pressing a 108kg barbell.

He said Mr Wang had several years of fitness experience, so it was unlikely that his death was caused by the wrong use of equipment.

"It is likely that the barbell slipped from his hands as he was too tired," he added.

Mr Wang's family arrived in Ampang Jaya to claim his body. It was sent to his hometown in Batu Pahat, Johor, to be cremated today, said China Press.

Lim Ruey Yan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2017, with the headline 'Malaysian student dies after 108kg barbell falls on his neck in gym'. Print Edition | Subscribe