A 35-year-old woman died at a subway station in Shenzhen on February 17 after she passed out and collapsed on a set of stairs and was ignored by a number passing commuters who didn’t stop to offer help.
Surveillance footage showed Liang Ya, an employee of IBM, falling down on the steps near an exit at the Shui Wan Station at the Shekou Line in Shenzhen around 10:30 in the morning. After she fell, a number of people were seen looking away as she moved in and out of consciousness and even signaled for help.
The Nanfang published a timeline of the events as reported by Nandu Daily:
10:29am — Liang Ya collapses on the steps of Exit C at Shui Wan Station
10:29am — Immediately after the fall, several people are seen looking away and passing by without offering help
10:32am — A woman stopped to notice Liang Ya and notified metro staff
10:35am — Two metro staff arrive with walkie-talkies. They are seen in the surveillance video speaking into walkie talkies and standing by Liang Ya, but not examining her in any way.
11:04am — Liang Ya had been laying there for 30 minutes when police rushed to the scene. She was unresponsive to questioning and touch. The police and metro staff continued to guard the scene.
11:18am — An ambulance finally arrives and Liang Ya is pronounced dead at the scene.
Reports noted that it took nearly an hour for an ambulance to arrive at the scene although the nearest hospital is situated only five minutes away.
Following the news, reporters from Shenzhen Evening News on February 27 decided to go undercover and feign injuries in different locations of the city to gauge how many people walking by actually stopped to help.
In one case at North Huaqiang, a 23-year-old female reporter said she heard someone call the ambulance after lying on the street “passed out” for seven minutes, and although 40 people passed by, only three of them attempted to help her.
Another reporter, a 29-year-old male, faked injuries at the Civic Center and was picked up by a stranger after two minutes.
Several stories have show people in distress being ignored by onlookers out of fear that they might be extorted. The most notorious case is probably that of Yueyue, the two-year-old toddler who was run over by a van and stepped over by several passersby before eventually succumbing to her injuries in a hospital.