Hit-and-run video sparks outrage

2011-10-18 11:08

Beijing - A video showing a toddler being struck twice by vans and then ignored by passers-by is sparking outrage in China and prompting soul-searching over why people didn't help the child.

The two-year-old girl, identified as Wang Yue, is in a coma in critical condition in the Guangzhou Military District General Hospital following Thursday's accident, state media reported on Tuesday. The Guangzhou Daily quoted the hospital's head of neurosurgery as saying the girl is likely to remain in a vegetative state if she survives.

A closed-circuit television video obtained by state media shows the toddler wandering along a narrow market street in the city of Foshan when she is struck by a van. As several people walk or cycle by, the child lies in a pool of blood and is then hit by another van. All told local media count 18 people passing by before a trash collector finally picks up the child and gives her to a woman identified as her mother.

The case is the latest heavily publicised example of Chinese in distress being ignored by fellow citizens in a phenomenon seen as illustrating the corrosive effect China's headlong pursuit of economic growth has had on public ethics.

"This brings a blow to our morality," news reader Yan Yanzi from Southern Television Guangdong said in a report that has been uploaded to video-sharing sites. "Where was your conscience? It is really disappointing news to watch, really disappointing," she said at the end of the report.

The TV report has been viewed more than two million times on the internet television site of Youku.com Inc China's version of Twitter, Sina Corp's Sina Weibo, has drawn 4.4 million comments and organised them under the hash tag "Please end the cold-heartedness."

Police arrested the driver of the second van the night of the accident and the driver of the first van, whose license plate was obscured in the surveillance video, on Sunday. Some online comments have demanded harsh punishment for the drivers.

"The drivers should be shot. No to any cooling down," Zeng Ziming said in a posting on his Sina Weibo feed.

The bitterest outrage, however, has been directed at those who ignored the injured child and at society's indifference. "Society is progressing, but human nature is regressing. These 18 passers-by are afraid of getting themselves into trouble," said a Weibo posting under the name She De.

While decrying the decay in social morality, many commentators have also pointed to China's lack of legal protections, such as a "Good Samaritan" law that would protect people from lawsuits if they try to help others in distress.

In another case that touched off public debate, an 81-year-old woman who had fallen to the ground unconscious accused a bus driver who tried to help her of knocking her over and causing her injury in the first place. Last week, state media reported that an American woman saved a Chinese woman from drowning in West Lake, a famous scenic spot in the eastern city of Hangzhou; commentators noted that only a foreigner would dare such a rescue.

"Although saving people constantly brings 'trouble,' nonetheless, ignoring the dying or even helping with evil acts by negligence is ripping apart society's ethical baseline and dissolving any sense of conscience deep in the souls of the public," commentator Li Hongbing wrote in Tuesday's People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the ruling Communist Party.

- SAPA
Read more on:    china
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is easy to get bogged down by things today. The Taurus Moon highlights the comforts and pleasures of life. You may have the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.