TOKYO (TR) – A member of an all-girl idol group lapsed into a coma last week after inhaling helium during the recording of a variety program from TV Asahi, the network announced at a press conference today, reports Sports Hochi (Feb. 4).
On January 28, one of five members of the group 3b Junior lost consciousness after inhaling the gas in an attempt to change their voices as a part of game. The girl, 12, was transported from the station’s studios in Minato Ward to a local hospital.
The victim, who was diagnosed as having suffered from an air embolism in the arteries to her brain, is still unconscious but is now showing signs of activity, including the moving of her eyes and limbs. She has also been able to drink liquid, said TV Asahi managing director Toru Takeda.
“With a quick recovery expected initially, we monitored changes in her condition and withheld making an announcement,” said Takeda. “Since it is now possible to obtain a medical specialist’s diagnosis and also see initial signs of recovery through a new therapy, we are now making this known through the consent of her family.”
According to the network, a staff member failed to realize that the products used to discharge the helium were manufactured for adults. Police are investigating the matter.
The program recorded on the day of the incident is scheduled to be broadcast on February 25. TV Asahi is now considering whether to cancel the program.
“There is a possibility that there was a problem with the management of safety measures during recording,” a representative of TV Asahi said. “It is highly regrettable.”
3B Junior is affiliated with Momoiro Clover Z, one of the most popular idol groups in Japan. The 25 members of the group range in age from 10 to 16.