采访/陈汉 编辑/尚燕 后制/君卓
Values of Lives in China
On February 4th, the Zhengzhou Evening News published
the Yichang Bridge accident in Henan and the list of the 16 victims, six dead and 11 injured.
Henan media reported that the six deceased victims
would be cremated.
Compensation for the deceased from a rural household
may be only half of that than from a city household.
The rescue work for Henan Yichang Bridge accident
ended on the evening of February 2nd.
The onsite-commanding Ministry said the identities
of the 10 deaths have been confirmed, however, so far only 6 names have been published.
The 11 injured persons are in the hospital for treatment,
but three of them are in stable condition.
Officials have not disclosed the specific compensation
On the morning of February 2nd, Wang Dexue,
deputy director of the State Administration of Work Safety, inspected the scene of the accident.
He said life is equal and uniform standards will apply,
according to specific circumstances, with no division of farmers or laborers.
However, on February 4th, the Henan Business Daily quoted
a victim’s family negotiating for compensation.
The government staff claimed since the accident occurred
in Henan Province, compensation should follow Henan’s standards.
That means victims from a city household can receive
over 400,000 yuan, but from a rural household can receive at most 180,000 yuan.
Another victim’s family told the media that he
was questioned by a staff member whether the deceased relative was an urban resident or rural resident.
For victims of the same accident, why should
the amount of compensation be so different?
Beijing lawyer Li Heping: “This is a problem
and it is quite serious.
The values of lives can be manifested in many ways,
even if it is in the same car and from a same household.
One belongs to a rural household, and another belongs
to a city household.
The amount of compensation for these two people
will be different. It’s indeed very unfair.”
Is there a provision in China’s law governing
compensation for rural and urban residents?
Li Heping, “Not only is there a rural and city difference,
but also a person’s age, and with dependent(s) as well as other conditions.
It’s not fair to compensate one 180,000 and the other 400,000.
There was a stark contrast in the Yang Jia incident in 2008.
Every police who lost his life was compensated
for more than 3 million yuan.
When Mr. Sun arrived at Mianchi County to claim
the remains of his father, he did not want to accept the official offer for compensation.
A day later, officials urged him to settle and offered 50,000
more if he signed an agreement before noon.
Relatives of the victim’s family feel
they have been treated unfairly.
Mr. Zhang from Henan: “The government is always trying
to smooth these public events as soon as possible to prevent further expansion of the impact.
Officials are afraid of the victims’ group power
in negotiating compensation.
Therefore, they take this means to break the victims’ unity.
On a.m February 1st, Yichang Bridge
on Lianhuo Highway collapsed after a sudden explosion.
When a truck containing explosives passed Yichang Bridge,
the southern half of the Yichang Bridge exploded and the northern half was loosened.
On the evening of February 2nd, the Ministry of Public
Security website released the results of the investigation,
which said the accident was due to fireworks exploding
in a transporting truck which caused the bridge to collapse.
No further news has been released about the quality
of the Yichang Bridge.
The Yichang Bridge was 208.04 meters long and
37.71 meters high. The accident site was a total mess.
Most of the fatalities was due to falling off
the collapsed bridge.
According to reports, on-site clean-up personnel
said a total of six trucks, two private cars and
many brand new cars, such as Audi,
were stacked up like a scrap metal junkyard.
This tragedy, which occurred before the Chinese Lunar
New Year, has become a hot topic for the microbloggers.
Some netizens said from the media’s 1300 word coverage
of the accident, 1134 words praised the hard work and effort of officials, including 16 leaders.
However, not even one name of the victims or families