The Envoy

Chinese express horror at public indifference to toddler hit-run victim

The Envoy

Surveillance video of passersby ignoring the plight of a Chinese toddler hit-and-run victim has sparked international expressions of shock and horror--together with a bout of soul-searching in Chinese society.

The video is obviously disturbing. It shows a 2-year-old girl who was run over by a van that then drove off, leaving her bleeding on the street in the city of Foshan, in China's southeastern Guandong province, on October 13. For the next seven minutes, passersby ignored the injured toddler, who was then hit by a second vehicle.

Video of incident, since aired on Chinese television and posted to Twitter and Chinese social networking sites, shows "more than a dozen people over the next seven minutes walk or drive past the girl on bicycles" as the girl is then "run over by a second truck," Reuters Michael Martina reported Monday. "A woman then pulls the girl to the side of the street before her mother, a migrant worker in the city, rushes into the frame."

The girl is now in a coma and hospitalized, Reuters reporting, citing a dispatch from China's state-run Xinhua news agency.

"Both drivers who ran over the girl have been arrested, Xinhua said, but Internet users have flooded microblogs decrying the apathy of the people who left her for dead," Reuters wrote.

"The shame of the Chinese people," wrote one user, Xiaozhong001, on Chinese social networking site Weibo, Reuters reported. "Really, what is up with our society? I saw this and my heart went cold. Everyone needs to do some soul searching about ending this kind of indifference."

"Many people in China are hesitant to help people who appear to be in distress for fear that they will be blamed," Reuters' Martina wrote in his report. "High-profile law suits have ended with good Samaritans ordered to pay hefty fines to individuals they sought to help."

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