Hit and run in China sparks soul-searching

BEIJING Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:49am EDT

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BEIJING (Reuters) - Video footage of a two-year-old child run over by a van and ignored by passersby in China has ignited public uproar for what some are calling the immorality of modern society.

Graphic surveillance video of the incident on October 13 and later aired by a television station shows the girl run over by a van, which drives off leaving her to bleed on a narrow street in Foshan city, in the southern province of Guandong.

More than a dozen people over the next seven minutes walk or drive past the girl on bicycles and she is run over by a second truck, state media reported on Monday. A woman then pulls the girl to the side of the street before her mother, a migrant worker in the city, rushes into the frame.

The girl, now hospitalized, is in a coma, China's Xinhua news agency reported, citing doctors. The country's official English-language newspaper China Daily, said the girl had been declared "brain dead" and that she could die at any time.

Both drivers who ran over the girl have been arrested, Xinhua said, but Internet users have flooded microblogs decrying the apathy of the people who left her for dead.

China's economic boom and the growing disparity between the rich and poor have made changing social values a contentious topic, with some lamenting what they see as materialism replacing morals.

On China's Twitter-like microblog service, Sina's Weibo, one user called the incident "the shame of the Chinese people."

"Really, what is up with our society? I saw this and my heart went cold. Everyone needs to do some soul searching about ending this kind of indifference," another user who went by the name Xiaozhong001 wrote.

Many people in China are hesitant to help people who appear to be in distress for fear that they will be blamed. High-profile law suits have ended with good Samaritans ordered to pay hefty fines to individuals they sought to help.

(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Comments (3)
RickEvans wrote:
Stunning. I watched the video on youtube and the callousness by these non-Samaritans exceeds the description in this story.

Oct 17, 2011 10:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse
SadStory wrote:
A really Shocking story, Chinese people must reflect on both their driving skills and moral standards

Oct 17, 2011 8:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Fish2man wrote:
Its very sad and says a lot about society but so does the fact that so many people are watching a child die before their eyes (I could not, have not and will not watch the video – I get the idea – don’t need the graphics). I suspect watching death will unfortunately become an even more popular passtime on you tube.

Oct 18, 2011 9:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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