Yesterday, Chinese net users was horrified by images of a massive traffic accident on a foggy Anhui expressway that left 18 people dead and 21 injured. A short time later, they were horrified again, this time by photos of one female reporter posing in front of the burnt-out wreckage of the crash with a smile on her face while making a peace sign and holding up her press badge.
The woman, surnamed Ling, was a traffic reporter for a local Fuyang radio station. Earlier today, the station announced that it had fired the reporter for her behavior which had caused a “negative impact on society.”
Before being fired, Ling uploaded a short video on Weibo apologizing for what she had done. An apology that was not accepted by many Chinese netizens.
“Don’t you have any professionalism? Was this all a joke to you?” wrote one Weibo user. “This apology is not sincere in the slightest, you are only sad for own sake,” argued another.
The horrific accident involving more than 30 vehicles occurred on Wednesday morning amid thick, sudden fog. After colliding, many of the cars caught on fire, igniting an inferno that took nearly three hours to extinguish.
Ling’s firing calls to mind the fall of Yang Decai, a local Shaanxi province official who was spotted grinning at the site of a bus crash which killed 36 people in 2012. The photo prompted netizens to take a closer look at other photos of Yang, discovering that he had an impressive collection of luxury watches for a local cadre. Yang was soon sacked from his position and expelled from the Communist Party.