In­tol­er­a­ble heat ex­poses ‘dead’ street ven­dor’s scam

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION - By XIN­HUA in Wuhan

A soft drink ven­dor’s scheme to fake his own death for fi­nan­cial gain was re­vealed af­ter the heat in cen­tral China’s Hubei prov­ince proved too much for him to bear on Satur­day, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred around 4 pm, when more than 10 men were hold­ing the sheet­cov­ered ven­dor’s “corpse” on a gur­ney near Jiang­han Road sub­way sta­tion in the provin­cial cap­i­tal of Wuhan.

They claimed that ur­ban patrol of­fi­cers had beaten the man to death and were de­mand­ing tens of thou­sands of yuan in com­pen­sa­tion, a worker with the city’s ur­ban man­age­ment com­mit­tee said on Mon­day.

More than 300 peo­ple gath­ered at the scene, and later, over 80 po­lice of­fi­cers were dis­patched to main­tain or­der.

The crowd dis­persed two hours later, when the “dead” ven­dor sud­denly jumped up, grabbed a bot­tle of wa­ter and drank it be­fore say­ing, “It’s too hot. I can’t bear it any­more.”

The soft drink ven­dor, sur­named Han, and two oth­ers have been de­tained for dis­turb­ing pub­lic or­der.

Af­ter be­ing de­tained, Han told po­lice that ur­ban patrol of­fi­cers from the city’s Jiang­han dis­trict clashed with the ven­dors af­ter telling them that their stands were block­ing traf­fic ear­lier in the day, ask­ing them to leave and con­fis­cat­ing their min­eral wa­ter and other bev­er­ages.

The No 2 Hos­pi­tal of Wuhan City con­firmed that some ven­dors and ur­ban patrol of­fi­cers sus­tained mi­nor in­juries in the al­ter­ca­tion, but no one was killed.

An In­ter­net user posted pho­tos of the scene on­line, but some ne­ti­zens have used them to mock the re­cent bout of hot weather that has af­fected most of the coun­try.

Satur­day’s weather re­port shows that the day’s high hit 36 C in Wuhan, but lo­cal res­i­dents tak­ing in­de­pen­dent tem­per­a­ture mea­sure­ments recorded a high of 45 C in down­town Wuhan.

Other parts of China have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ex­treme heat as well, in­clud­ing Fu­jian, Hu­nan and Zhe­jiang prov­inces and Chongqing and Shang­hai mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties. More than 10 peo­ple across the coun­try died of heat stroke last week.

China’s ur­ban patrol of­fi­cers, or cheng­guan, are of­ten crit­i­cized for their vi­o­lent ap­proach to tack­ling low-level, ur­ban and non- crim­i­nal reg­u­la­tion vi­o­la­tions. Re­ports of­ten ap­pear in the me­dia con­tain­ing ac­cu­sa­tions of cheng­guan beat­ing ven­dors and smash­ing their stalls.

YU FANG­PING FOR CHINA DAILY

An in­creas­ing num­ber of chil­dren in Qing­dao, Shan­dong prov­ince, have come down with colds or are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing di­ar­rhea due to a heat wave. Doc­tors warned that par­ents should pay close at­ten­tion to the food they give their chil­dren and not take them out­side.

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