In the aftermath of the tragic death of a university student at a Zhuhai bar earlier this year, the Chinese internet is currently in an uproar, debating about who/what is to blame.
On June 19th, 19-year-old Wang Yaodong, a university freshman, went out with a few of his friends to a bar in Zhuhai to celebrate after taking his English exam. There, Wang accepted the bar’s challenge in which he had to drink six cocktails (1,800 milliliters in total) in just three minutes. If he was able to finish all of the cocktails, then they were free. If not, he would have to pay 168 yuan for them.
However, after drinking the cocktails, Wang suddenly began to lose consciousness with his head slumping to his chest and then his body collapsing to the floor. Wang’s friends tried to help him up and attempted to get him to vomit back up the alcohol. However, their efforts failed and things only started to become worse as Wang’s lips began to turn purple and his pulse became weak. Frightened, his friends wanted to call 120.
However, they were allegedly told not to call emergency services from inside the bar by staff who said that it would reflect badly on the bar. Frantic deliberations about what to do ensued. Finally, the owner of the bar drove Wang and his classmates to the hospital. Surveillance footage shows that they left the bar at 11:02 pm, about 40 minutes after Wang first collapsed to the floor.
According to a recently released hospital report on Wang’s death, when the 19-year-old arrived in the emergency room he was not breathing and did not have a heartbeat after consuming more than 1,000 milliliters of a strong alcoholic beverage. Attempts to resuscitate Wang were successful, temporarily, however, the next day his condition deteriorated quickly. Soon, he was dead.
Speaking to reporters, Wang’s sister said that her brother almost never drank any alcohol, spending much of his time in high school studying. Only at Spring Festival did his family urge him to have a glass of wine or two. She remembered that after he took the gaokao, she took him out to a KTV to celebrate, after just two glasses of beer, his face had turned completely red.
At the moment, Chinese netizens are spreading the blame around for Wang’s death with the bar being their most popular target, accusing the establishment of encouraging dangerous binge drinking and valuing its own reputation over the health and safety of its customers. Meanwhile, others have blamed Wang’s classmates for failing to take care of their friend. And still others have put some of the blame on Wang himself for not recognizing his own limits.
However, some netizens have looked at the bigger picture and pointed the finger, once again, at China’s drinking culture, which regularly results in these kinds of tragic deaths. Last year, a bridesmaid choked to death on her own vomit after being pushed into drinking at a wedding in Hainan.
[Images via NetEase]
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