Over 100 people were spotted squatting down in a street for hours yesterday in Hanzhong, Shaanxi province to collect piles of sulfur powder that they had mistaken for gold.
The rush lasted from around 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., resulting in scattered crowds of people blocking off a crossroad between Xinxing North Road and a nearby highway in Mian county despite traffic officers’ attempts to disperse them.
A female shopkeeper near the crossroad said she saw some curious passersby picking up the stuff at around 6:00 a.m. Four hours later, the road was full of over 100 residents who’d gotten word of the gold-covered road and wanted to come claim their share.
“Old and young, women and men were all coming to collect,” said the shopkeeper. “Some people on their motorcycles parked the vehicles at the roadside and crouched down to collect the small flecks as soon as they learned of the news. Many even came to me to borrow my brooms.”
Another male shop keeper told reporters that he had tried to convince the collectors that it was not gold powder, but to no avail. Instead, some phoned their families to send a bag for them so they could scoop up more.
A logistics company revealed that the “gold” was actually sulfur powder used as fertilizer, and that it had spilled out onto the street while being transferred from a mineral enterprise the night before.
Two boys collect sulfur powder under the sun.
It’s reported that sulfur powder could harm respiratory passageways breathed in and definitely in no way contains gold.
By Lucy Liu
[Images via Tencent]