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A woman has died after being trapped in a lift for a month.

They had a broken elevator for a month, but residents continued on with their day to day activities because their building had two others that worked well – and they were used to such inconveniences.

Little did they know that trapped inside the broken down lift was a woman – a fellow resident of the apartment block –  who perished desperately trying to escape.

The tragic story has emerged from the central Chinese city of Xian where police found the woman’s body, which had begun decomposing, on March 1.

It is believed she became trapped after the lift was turned off by two maintenance workers on 30 January.

The 43-year-old’s body was not found until workers arrived on 1 March.

“The scene was inhumane. We think she starved to death in there,” one of the residents, Xiao Lin, told reporters.

Another resident only named Wang said the elevator was full of markings of the victim’s desperate attempts to get out with the walls filled with scratch marks.

AAP reports that the woman’s corpse went unnoticed by the building’s residents for over 30 days as residents may have been away on travels to other parts of China during the customary Lunar New Year festivities in February.

The woman was said to have lived alone.