Thursday, 24. July 2014
20. 05. 14. - 16:00
A Chinese woman died after using her body to shield her three-year-old son when a lorry toppled over and covered them with earth in the city of Suzhou in east China's Jiangsu province.
The young woman Song Fan, 23, had been travelling with her husband and their young son Mai on an electric scooter for a day out together when the accident happened.
The woman's husband Song Chu, 25, said: "I had slowed down at a junction and my son saw the watermelons on sale at a nearby stand. He tapped me on the head and said that he wanted one, and so we pulled over and parked by several other electric bikes where people also buying watermelons."
But as the couple and their son tucked into a watermelon a truck that had failed to notice the parked bikes collided with the two wheeled vehicles and tipped over, killing two motorists and knocking several others to the side.
Worse, the earth the lorry was carrying rushed towards the stall burying several customers including the young family. Other motorists rushed to rescue those buried and were able to pull the young father out from under the earth, and he then helped in trying to rescue his wife and son. But it took an hour before the earth could be shifted from the spot where the mother and three-year-old were buried – and emergency medics were only able to confirm her death.
But incredibly, she had used her body to form a protective cover over her son, allowing enough air underneath him to breathe and although suffering from a broken leg, he was otherwise unhurt and is expected to make a full recovery after being treated at a local hospital.
A second person who was buried under the earth also died, and as well as the injured boy, four others were also injured but are expected to survive.
A police spokesman said the accident was a strong reminder to people as to why Chengguan officers are so hard with illegal street vendors.
They said that the watermelon seller had no right to have parked on such a narrow street, and it was the obstruction that had caused the accident. In recent weeks there have been strong criticisms of the city police officers responsible for policing illegal street vendors. They have been accused of being overzealous but the latest tragedy is an argument for many that the job does have more merits than many had considered.
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