Saturday, 20. December 2014
05. 06. 14. - 16:00
An entire family in China has committed suicide after racking up hundreds of pounds on credit cards they were unable to pay back.
The deaths have stirred a national debate in the country over the easy access to credit that people not use to money now have as the country becomes ever more western in its ways.
The tragedy happened in the city of Shanghai. The family - a mother and father and their 25-year-old son - lit a basin full of charcoal in their home and waited for the lethal fumes to do their work.
The father was Zhang Lu, 69, the mother Lin Lung, 62, and their son Zhang Tang. According to police who quizzed relatives after the bodies were found, the family despaired of ever being able to pay off the mountain of debt they had incurred.
A police spokesman said: "Relatives of the family knew they were in a desperate situation and had been told of plans they were formulating to end their lives. Unfortunately they did not take the threats seriously.
"When the relatives went to the flat after they were missing for a day the door was closed. When firemen broke the door by force, the family were already dead, poisoned by the charcoal fumes."
The family had stuffed towels into windows and door cracks to effectively create a gas chamber in their living room.
According to the relatives, the family invested in a businesses that had failed and ran heavily in debt on their credit cards as a result. The exact sum was 900 GBP - a fortune in Chinese terms.
People like them are bombarded with offers of easy credit every month. China now has helplines and counsellors for people struggling to overcome their personal debt mountains.
Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student
Austria has yet to record its first case of Ebola, but the feared virus has already had a severe impact on the lives of Africans living in Vienna.
Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus
Whilst the world-famous Wizard of Oz played at the Volksoper, there was another Wizard in the Konzerthaus giving his 16th performance in Vienna!
Penelope Cruz To Play The Ice Cream Killer
The memoirs of the woman dubbed the Ice Cream Killer after she shot dead two ex-lovers before hacking the bodies up with a chainsaw and telling neighbours the noise was a new ice cream machine are due to be turned into a blockbuster with Penelope Cruz playing the lead role.
Kid Left In Coma After Beaten By Teacher For Talking
This is the shocking image of a little Chinese girl before and after she was punished by her teacher - for talking in class.
Freezing Rain Causes Chaos In Central Europe
Freezing weather has arrived in Europe with a vengeance with a layer of ice blanketing parts of Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic and causing traffic chaos.
Holey Smoke As Car Disappears Down Sinkhole
Motorist Wei Hsiao found himself in a hole lot of trouble in China when a giant sinkhole opened up on the road beneath him, swallowing his entire car.
Shock Moment Police Helicopter Explodes On Street
This is the moment a police helicopter exploded into a spinning ball of flame in Chile when a fire truck clipped one of its rotors.
More Than Twenty 100,000 GBP Motors Used In Bridal Convoy
A Chinese couple who wanted to have the most expensive wedding convoy possible arranged for a convoy of top of the range cars including a stretch Hummer followed by Lamborghinis, Porsches and other VIP motors.
Riot Police Star In Downs Syndrome Calendar
Spanish riot police have joined forces with Down's syndrome kids to take part in a special calendar for charity.
Chinese Nuclear Winter Smog Leaves Clinics Full
Fresh proof of Chinese scientists' claims that the country's toxic air pollution resembles a nuclear winter are shown by these images that show clinics and hospitals packed with patients suffering with trouble breathing.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|UN Security Expert Says One Jihad Poster Girl Is Dead|
|Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student|
|Russian Cops Beat Man To A Pulp In Front Of Children|
|Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus|
|Porsche Driver Crushed After Ploughing Into Lorry|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.