The woman, aged in her 50s, died of suffocation after getting lodged head-first in the opening of a charity clothing bank at Saint-Saveur, in the south-eastern department of Isère on Sunday.
According to initial reports cited by French daily Libération, the deceased appears to have stepped on a wooden pallet to hoist herself into the metal container, and put her head through the open deposit slot.
It is not known whether she was donating clothes or trying to remove items from the container.
Tragically, however, it seems she “lost her balance”, got trapped up to her chest inside the trap door, and was suffocated under the weight of the bank’s slot, which only opens inwards, according to a police source from nearby Saint-Marcellin.
Her body was discovered by locals on Sunday morning.