A woman from Fujian province who fell face down and lost conciousness while on a trip to the Great Wall died of suffocation as passers-by refused to help her.
According to the Southeast Express, the woman, surnamed Zhou, was visiting the Great Wall on April 18 as part of a tour group. As their guide went to buy tickets for the group, Zhou became separated and got lost.
Zhou eventually called the group and arranged to meet them. After 10 minutes had passed, there was still no sign of Zhou, so one member took the tour group’s flag and went to look for her. After a short while, they found Zhou lying face down on the ground.
Despite being at the busy Badaling section of the Great Wall, close to a popular spot where tourists take photos, no-one stepped forward to offer Zhou assistance. Staff who had reportedly been at the scene for some time said “there’s no need to help her, we’ve already called the police.”
Zhou was sent to the hospital but shortly after was pronounced dead. A doctor from Yanqing County Hospital said that the cause of death was suffocation. As no-one had turned her over onto her back, while lying face down she had been unable to breathe.
Xiao Zhou, her son, was distraught at the news of her mother’s death. “If only someone at the scene had helped her, she wouldn’t have died. There were so many people at the scene that day, why couldn’t one of them have turned her over!”
In recent years China has seen numerous incidents where passers-by refuse to render life-saving assistance to those in need. Many believe this phenomenon is the result of an infamous court verdict in 2006, where a Nanjing judge ruled that a young man named Peng Yu must have been guilty of harming the elderly lady he had taken to hospital after witnessing her fall.
In 2011, the tragic case of the two-year-old girl Yueyue became the most controversial of such incidents. The toddler was knocked down by two vehicles outside a market in Foshan and left to die by the roadside until a scrap peddler came to help her. She later died of her injuries.
By Lucy Liu and Dominic Jackson
[Image via Xinhua News]