5 homeless children in SW China die from hiding in trash bin to get warm
Five boys were found dead inside roadside waste bins in Bijie, southwestern China’s Guizhou province, on the morning of November 16. Police investigation is under way. So far, the five boys have not been identified, but the preliminary result shows the boys may have been killed by CO gas poisoning after trying to warm themselves by a fire they set inside the waste bins.
Dumpsters in which the five boys died from CO gas poisoning
All Chinese netizens lament their deaths. Some compared their tragic fate to that of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens and the Little Match Girl in Hans Christian Anderson’s story. Some railed against the failure of the country’s social welfare. Others simply commented, “Wine and meat rot behind vermilion gates while at the roadside people freeze to death,” a well-known verse written by ancient Chinese poet Du Fu often cited by modern Chinese who are disgusted with the yawning gap between the apathetic rich and the miserable poor.
The first to find the five bodies was a rag-picking elderly woman. The eldest among the was 13, and the youngest 7.
According to several witnesses who had been to the site, nearby the waste bins was a demolition site. “The kids rigged up a makeshift shelter on the site with bricks, plywoods sheets and billboard canvas, and lived in there for a couple of days,” once said. Another reported having seen kids playing a discarded broken ball they picked from the waste bins.
The demolition site on which boys used to play; a makeshift home they rigged up with bricks, plywood and billboard canvas can still be seen.
It was drizzling in Bijie at late night on November 15, with a temperature as low as 6°C (42 °F). The five boys may have hidden inside the waste bins and set fire to warm themselves. Incomplete combustion as the result of insufficient oxygen inside the waste bins created carbon monoxide and killed the boys.
Top comments from NetEase:
网易广东省河源市网友 ip：121.14.*.*2012-11-18 03:56:32 发表
How many homeless children can be rescued if you guys drink one less bottle of Moutai (luxury Chinese liquor)?
qf55 [网易浙江省杭州市网友]：2012-11-18 03:55:27 发表
Wine and meat rot behind vermilion gates while at the roadside people freeze to death. It’s been a thousand years, and we haven’t progressed a little.
Selected comments from Sina Weibo:
矮妹子：Hope there is no coldness in Heaven.
Lossy_Huang：The tragedy of the old society reoccurs in the Socialist New China??? What do those local officials and party members do for a living? ‘Serve the People,’ damn bullshit!!!
代表moon消灭你o0：This society is very cold…The kids were innocent…Pray for you
歌手阎飞翔：Maybe you have already arrived in another world, where it is no longer cold, you no longer need to worry about your meals, and you no longer have to shun the suspicious and disdainful eyes of passers-by. Bon voyage. Pray…
蒙商联合梁磊：My two reasons for sharing this: 1, Hope the relevant organ of the government stop its inaction. Tax paid by 1.4 million people cannot even support our kids? 2, Hope this can inspire the society to contemplate, where is our moral compass; who has stolen our sympathy?
伊犁飞飞：Five children’s lives…Feeling so chilled and heartbroken. Oliver Twist, the little match girl.
Zurga：Why would there even be homeless children? Why would children end up living in the streets? Isn’t there any foster home or orphanage? Has taxpayers’ money been fed to dogs??! F**K!!!
夜行侠也迷向阳花：The woe of living in socialism with Chinese characteristics.
禹海华：I only want to ask, if one day, you see a homeless person, will you hand him a warm coat and a hot meal?
爱困斯坦：You guys embezzle, you guys take bribes. Do whatever you want, we have already gotten too used to it! But why can’t you even protect those kids!!! Five kids!!! F**k you and your entire family, you bastard officials!
Vanxxx的小宇宙：RIP. Kids, don’t choose the HARD mode in your next life when you are to be reincarnated. (It comes from the widespread Internet joke that anyone born in China must have chosen HARD mode when they were reincarnated, instead of EASY mode that corresponds to life in Europe, and therefore have to suffer.)