Idol girl, 12, still unconscious after helium stunt on TV


A 12-year-old member of an idol group who fell unconscious Saturday after inhaling helium for a television show has not yet come round, TV Asahi said.

The Metropolitan Police Department is questioning staff at TV Asahi and could file charges of professional negligence.

Although she is showing signs of improvement, the girl may be suffering from a cerebral air embolism, in which air enters a blood vessel in the brain, a medical specialist said Wednesday.

The unnamed girl is one of 27 members of idol group 3B junior. She took part in a game involving helium gas, which is sold in stores to make people’s voices sound funny at parties, at the TV station’s studio in Tokyo.

TV Asahi apologized to the girl and her family and said it delayed announcing the incident because it expected an earlier recovery.

  • Tim Johnston

    Whats up with these Japanese variety shows?
    A 12 year old inhaling helium to make others laugh?
    I feel sorry for the Girl and her Family and the TV company should be taken to court for their actions. this is unacceptable.
    For an adult, well their choice….. but a child!

    • J.P. Bunny

      About par for the course. Remember programs where children (girls) were dressed and made up as to be indistinguishable from 22 year women. Then contestants had pick out the children from the adults. Yet another reason why I read for entertainment.

  • Ben

    why are there any 12 year olds in any “idol” groups in the first place?

    • This is so true… I was saying the same thing. If somebody handed my 12-year old a helium bottle … well …

    • Serenyty

      Just a little background, but this 3B Junior is the idol division of the Stardust Promotion agency. (If you aren’t aware of the idol industry, that might be something else to look up, but essentially it’s teen pop stars). The girls on this show are a part of this section in the talent agency, but they aren’t in a girl group YET, so they are pretty much trainees that aim to be a member of a girl group. There are some really famous girl groups as a part of 3B Junior (Momoiro Clover Z is the big one, but Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku and Team Syachihoko are getting notice) which is why the trainees got their own show, too.

      • Ben

        thanks, it’s good to know the names of the companies profiting from the idolization of kids and encouragement of frivolous pursuits.

  • GBR48

    In most countries they would be prosecuted for criminal culpability. Heck, in most countries they would have rules relating to child performers on TV and have at least one professional, responsible member of staff ensuring that they were followed. If she doesn’t make a full recovery, those responsible should be facing serious jail time. Being ‘in TV’ doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. They had a duty of care and they failed.

    • Ben

      completely agree. the protections for children should be getting stronger, not even more obviously disregarded. what are they even doing making ‘idol’ groups out of 12 year olds anyway?

  • TR90

    Not smart at all. Smh.