A group of villagers sprinted onto a Jiangxi highway to try and grab whatever they could on Sunday morning after a truck carrying home electronics burst into flames, even going so far as to clash with firefighters trying to control the blaze.
According to the local fire department, upon arrival, the vehicle’s body went up in flames, and the firefighters set to work.
After around 10 minutes, they had the blaze effectively under control. However, they were forced to stop when nearby villagers began swarming to the scene, snatching up any charred electronic products in sight under cover of the smoke, Sina reports.
The firefighters tried in vain to get the villagers to move back, but they were too preoccupied to care. One agitated man even threatened the firefighters, saying: “Spray more water and I’ll beat you to death.”
At last, police arrived on the scene and helped to control the crowd, and the firefighters were able to finish their work.
The incident has triggered a barrage of criticism from netizens online.
A Zhejiang user @清浊本是空 wrote, “Nabbing free stuff is more important than their lives.”
“Why didn’t the firefighters use the water cannon to stop the looters?! “@nc65vf4vzm wondered.
“The government needs to legislate against this kind of behavior. Anyone who grabs something should be convicted of theft. No matter how many people there are, they all should be arrested,” argued @shangjiong1982.
@不漂的海客 commented, “We opened our door to the world over 30 years ago. It seems that our material well-being has approved, but our spiritual one has fallen apart completely.”
“Why are foreigners generally more civilized? Because of their systems of law. If foreigners stay in China for two or three years, they’ll become worse than our countrymen,” commented another netizen.
Unfortunately, this kind of thing isn’t all that uncommon. Over the past few years, we’ve seen opportunistic looters exploiting highway accidents to grab up some pears, yogurt, melon seeds, crabs and baby chicks
Watch video of the incident here:
By Lucy Liu
[Images via China News // Video via iFeng]