Mor­ti­cians vol­un­teer for somber task

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG YI in Bei­jing and LIUKUNinWuhan

More than 100 mor­ti­cians have gath­ered in Jianli county, Hubei prov­ince, to com­plete the somber task of pre­par­ing the bod­ies of the 434 Eastern Star vic­tims for cre­ma­tion or re­turn to their fam­i­lies.

ZhangWei, who man­ages a fu­neral par­lor in­Hankou and ar­rived with 15 mor­ti­cians, said they would pro­vide spe­cial care.

“It is the mor­ti­cian’s job to let ev­ery de­ceased de­part with dig­nity,” said Zhang, who has 30 years of ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I ex­horted ev­ery co-worker to move and clean the bod­ies with ex­tra care. I asked all of them to put their heart and soul into ev­ery pro­ce­dure in their work.”

The cruise ship with 456 peo­ple aboard cap­sized in stormy weather on the Yangtze River on June 1 in the coun­try’s worst ship­ping dis­as­ter in 70 years. Only 14 peo­ple sur­vived and eight re­main miss­ing.

Ex­pe­ri­enced per­son­nel from sev­eral cities — in­clud­ing Tian­jin, Guangzhou and Wuhan — gath­ered in Jianli to en­sure that the re­mains are han­dled with dig­nity and re­spect.

Chen Pin, a mor­ti­cian from Wuhan who vol­un­teered to help, said she and four other col­leagues were ex­tremely sad­dened when they cleaned the body of a 3-year-old girl, the youngest vic­tim of the dis­as­ter.

CHEN ZHUO / FOR CHINA DAILY

Mor­ti­cians bow to con­tain­ers hold­ing the bod­ies of vic­tims who died in the county, Hubei prov­ince, on Tues­day.

cruise ac­ci­dent at a fu­neral par­lor in Jianli

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