A man has been sentenced to three years in jail and fined 2.7 million yuan after driving a 160-ton truck over a bridge outside Beijing, causing it to collapse. For your reference, that’s more than 25% of the aid money China sent the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan. SMCP reports:
The Intermediate People’s Court in the capital imposed on Zhang a penalty equivalent to US$440,000, Xinhua said, reducing his original fine of 15.6 million yuan [more than the amount of Philippine aid money] levied by a lower court.
According to official statistics, the average income for Chinese urban residents stood at 26,959 yuan last year.
Zhang’s wife said the family depends solely on him and that he has a son, daughter and mother to support, adding that they cannot afford to pay the fine, the Beijing Times newspaper said.
The case has triggered wide controversy on the China’s internet, with many suspicious that poor quality construction and maintenance could have been responsible for the accident in July 2011.
We speculate the bridge consisted of a wet rice noodle draped over a canyon. Netizens have joked that they built it from bean curd.
To be fair, at least in this case the recipient of the fine was partly at fault. If it went by the logic of some past fines, the workers rebuilding the bridge would’ve probably been fined 2.7 million yuan as well.