Bridesmaid, 17, dies of suspected alcohol poisoning after being 'forced' to drink 3 years ago

Bridesmaid, 17, dies of suspected alcohol poisoning after being 'forced' to drink

A teenage bridesmaid died of what's thought to be alcohol poisoning at a wedding in China.

She was found unconscious in her hotel room in Meizhou, Guangdong province early on Wednesday morning, according to local media.

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The 17-year-old girl's family says she was forced to drink at the wedding. The bride denied the claims.

The girl was reportedly drinking soft drinks at the wedding but began drinking alcohol to toast the married couple as part of the celebrations.

Drinking a strong spirit called baijiu is an important part of social events in that region of China, according to the Telegraph.

Bridesmaid, 17, dies of suspected alcohol poisoning after being 'forced' to drink

Made from grain, it typically has an alcohol content of 52 per cent.

The newlywed couple are traditionally expected to toast every guest individually at their wedding, it reports, though bridesmaids are to step in for the bride if she does not want to drink.

CCTV footage showed the girl being carried to her room at around 1am by fellow wedding guests.

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Police are now investigating her death.

A culture of heavy drinking and sexual harassment has put many women off being bridesmaids in China, so much so than an industry of 'bridesmaids for hire' has sprung up.

It's not uncommon for brides to pay for professionals to help them with their duties on their wedding day, including drinking for the bride.