Public anger over handling of bullet train crash by Chinese gov’t reflected in microblog surveys

July 27, 2011Jing Gao7 Comments, , , , , , , , ,

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.

(For more inside stories about the train crash by Ministry of Tofu, please visit here and here.)

(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%)

poll01

(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.)
http://vote.weibo.com/vid=692952

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%)

poll02

The bespectacled man in the collage is Wang Yongping, spokesperson for Chinese Ministry of Railways, at a news conference after the train crash

(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%)

poll03

 


(4) Do you think the train accident in Wenzhou is a natural or a manmade disaster?

http://vote.weibo.com/vid=687270

Number of respondents until the screenshot was taken:49,560

Natural calamity 618 (1%)
Manmade misforture 48,942 (99%)

poll04

(5) Do you believe that the death toll is as low as 35? (By then the official version)

http://vote.weibo.com/vid=692608

Number of respondents until the screenshot was taken:29,303

I do 643 (2%)
I don’t 28,660 (98%)

poll05

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7 comments to “Public anger over handling of bullet train crash by Chinese gov’t reflected in microblog surveys”

  1. [...] I keep mistyping as the Ministry of Tudu for some reason) has a rundown and translation of the microblog surveys that have been run through the Chinese cyberscape.  Needless to say, people ain’t [...]

  2. Blacksoth | July 28, 2011 | Permalink Reply

    They were so busy covering it all up they didn't even wait to finish pulling survivors from the wreckage and might have even buried a few. Chinese are not stupid, they know a lie when they hear it but the question is.. will they do anything? Reading the comments of chinese they still choose to phrase valid complaints in terms that speak of patriotism and party loyalty. Killing chinese and covering it up doesn't seem patriotic to me. One of the victims was very much a party supporter and look where it got him. Wake up, China! If you let this continue it could be YOU!

  3. lamar | July 28, 2011 | Permalink Reply

    Very good point @Blacksoth, here's a little review (in english) of the accident as it's seen from Europe. Many questions go unanswered…

    http://www.citizenside.com/en/photos/features/201

  4. [...] Zhejiang took place on the evening of July 23, the Chinese government and the Communist Party came under public opprobrium for their previous confidence in Chinese railway system, which now prove to be problematic and even [...]

  5. [...] is being called the 7/23 disaster. The China Media Project, and other aggregator websites like the Ministry of Tofu, the China Digital Times, the Shanghaiist, ChinaSmack have been translating and reporting the [...]

  6. [...] is being called the 7/23 disaster. The China Media Project, and other aggregator websites like the Ministry of Tofu, the China Digital Times, the Shanghaiist, ChinaSmack have been translating and reporting the [...]

  7. [...] is being called the 7/23 disaster. The China Media Project, and other aggregator websites like the Ministry of Tofu, the China Digital Times, the Shanghaiist, ChinaSmack have been translating and reporting the [...]

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