Saturday, 20. December 2014
10. 06. 14. - 16:00
Nearly 10,000 chickens were burned alive in their metal cages when a lorry transporting them to market in China caught fire.
The birds had no chance to escape the tragedy and had to wait for their agonising deaths in the flames.
The next morning local people came to try to take the lesser-charred birds for food, and also to try and round up the few that had escaped.
Driver Yuan She, 43, had managed to free several hundred of them before the fire spread but the majority were incinerated.
Police are probing the cause of the truck fire which happened in Suizhou, a city in central China’s Hubei province.
A police spokesman said: "It seems the tyres of the truck caught fire, so we are examining if faulty brakes were to blame. The fire spread very quickly and out of the 10,000 birds, less than a few hundred were set free before the fire became too fierce.
"The blaze was very intense. When firemen arrived on the scene it took 40 minutes to extinguish the flames."
Driver She added: "I have lost a lot of money but it was also terrible to see the birds being burnt alive. They were destined for restaurants anyway but to die that way was awful. They didn't stand a chance with the smoke and the heat and I feel really bad for their suffering."
But the dead birds were good news for people like Wang Ho, a homeless beggar who told local TV: "Me and others heard about it on the grapevine, everyone was talking about it, there was cooked chicken for everyone. Some of it was a bit charred, but a lot of it was still good enough meat to be eaten."
A police spokesman said: "No-one wanted to see it go to waste, and it saved removing the carcasses if some of the meat was taken away."
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