Public anger over handling of bullet train crash by Chinese gov’t reflected in microblog surveys
Background: Two cars of a high-speed bullet train fell off a bridge on the evening of July 23 in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, killing at least 39 people and injured 200 others. One train came to a halt after losing power allegedly because of a lightning strike. The emergency warning system absurdly dysfunctioned and failed to calibrate the speed of rest of the trains running on the line, causing a second train to slam into it from behind without braking hard ahead of time. However, four days have passed, and the Ministry of Railways has not yet given an official explanation as to what caused the malfunction.
Netizens are also suspicious that a great effort by the state to cover up the unnatural disaster is going on. On the morning of July 24, the next day, Ministry officials announced there was no living person inside any train coaches, and ordered backhoes to bury the wrecked train coaches under the ground. Net users accuse the government of destroying undesirable evidence that may embarrass them and jeopardizing lives of undiscovered survivors. A survivor was even found in the remains of the train coaches after the rescue effort stopped, leading netizens to abhor the hasty and cold-blooded decision.
(1)Survey on level of satisfaction with the Ministry of Railways’ handling of the bullet train crash in Wenzhou
(Has been “harmonized,” or removed by censors Tuesday morning. )
Number of respondents until the screenshot was taken：117,105
Quite satisfied 1,613 (1%)
Very satisfied 633 (1%)
Pooh! 11,4851 (98%）
(2) The bullet train’s remains were buried. Which do you believe is the reason?
(Has been “harmonized” on the evening of July 25, Monday, one hour after the screenshot.)
Number of respondents until the screenshot was taken：62,926
To fill up the puddle. (According to yesterday’s news report) 607 (1％)
To facilitate rescue effort (According to QQ News this morning) 506 (1％)
To prevent core technology from being leaked (According to Metropolitan Express) 429 (1％)
To Destroy evidence!!!!!! 61,382 (98%)
(3) Are you satisfied with how the train crash in Wenzhou has been handled?
http://vote.weibo.com/vid=690625 (One has to cast a vote with an account in order to view the results.)
Number of respondents until the screenshot was taken：89,647
Very lousy. It borders on treating people’s lives like dirt. 83,639 (93%)
Dissatisfied. The emergency measure was crappy. 3,267 (4%)
Just so so. Some people have been rescued. 948 (1%)
Only satisfied with how our countrymen have rescued themselves. 1,347 (2%)
Very satisfied. The government has done a great job. (446, 0%)
(4) Do you think the train accident in Wenzhou is a natural or a manmade disaster?
Number of respondents until the screenshot was taken：49,560
Natural calamity 618 (1%)
Manmade misforture 48,942 (99%)
(5) Do you believe that the death toll is as low as 35? (By then the official version)
Number of respondents until the screenshot was taken：29,303
I do 643 (2%)
I don’t 28,660 (98%)