Friday, 30 October 2009

Tragedy of Changsha students

drowning of Changsa students

Here's a piece of news (actually a blog entry that translated it from a Chinese forum) about three university students in China who drowned trying to save some kids in the river.
"Three college freshmen who gave up their lives saving drowning children" has become a hot topic at every major mainland news source. Written in the tone of traditional Chinese textbook essays, lofty, moving, full of praises for the selfless students and Chinese governmental agencies, all the articles bring tears to the readers' eyes.
Source

There were ten or more freshmen university students involved, they linked arms arms with each other to form a human chain and went into the water to save the kids. When finally they managed to get the second child safe on ashore nine students broke off and swept away by the undercurrent. Luckily they were encountered by a swimming team and six out of the nine students were rescued. Some people have remarked that the students were courageous, others think they were foolish for doing it without thinking about their own safety. Nevertheless they acted out on their instincts and did what they thought was right in that circumstance, but unfortunately despite saving the two children lead to the death of three students.

This sounds like all typical tragic incident, but there's more to this than what it seems. Some people posted on some Chinese forums with accounts revealing another side to the story and it quickly spread all over the internet. The fire fighters were called in but didn't do much claiming the of lack life vests and people from the Marine Department also came by, again didn't do anything. By that time the students were already drowned. Apparently some fishermen on two fishing boats nearby who could have saved them just stood by and watched. Not only that they refused to fish out the dead bodies of the students after they've drowned unless they were paid a certain sum of money. The students and teachers had to haggle and beg them until they agreed on the price.

Whether the students' action were right or wrong at least their deeds were humane, unlike those fishermen who could have prevented the deaths if they have any sense of humanity. Apparently they are infiltrated with some gangs. They make profit by letting the people drown and then fishing their bodies out in exchange for the price of money. Also the slow response 'rescue' efforts by the firefighters and Marines Departments were entirely questionable. What's worrying is that the dodgy ways in which the law works in China may mean those scumbag fishermen will probably won't get the punishment that deserved. But let's hope some justice is served so the students can rest in peace and in due respect to their grieving families.

More on this:

Nearby Fishing Boat Refused To Save Drowning Students

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