China Roundup – 29 Dead in Collapsed Restaurant, Police Investigating Airline Ticket Fraud, Real Estate Agent Without Legs

  • A girl fell to her death after she was left alone in an elevator.
  • Officials punished for a public letter with typos.
  • A restaurant in Shanxi collapsed killing at least 29.

On August 28, a 3-year-old girl in Hunan went to celebrate her granny’s birthday with her parents. After the party, she entered the elevator first. Just when her granny was about to step in, the door of the elevator closed. The girl panicked, jumped around and pressed a few buttons. The elevator took her to the fourth floor. She went out and saw no one there, so she went back in. The elevator took her to the eighth floor. She went out again. This time, she didn’t come back, neither did she find her family.

A part of the letter with three typos.

She fell off the window of the eighth floor and died. The CCTV in the elevator captured the entire tragedy.  The family of the girl claims the window on the eighth floor was too low, while the property company claimed it is standard since it’s over 0.9 meter, the minimum height required by authority. On Zhihu, most posts blame the family for the tragedy. They let the girl run around and the granny apparently couldn’t take care of her. The case is still under investigation.

Four officials in the Human Resources and Social Security Bureau in Yilong have received administrative demerits from the local government. For several days, an official letter from the bureau has been circulating online. In this letter of merely 400 words, there are four typos, including a typo on the name of the bureau.

A birthday party was on when the restaurant collapsed.

Loads of comments describe the officials as lazy and incompetent in that bureau, that they didn’t even bother to read the letter over again after writing it. Some comments, obviously from experienced people, state that the officials must have used Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on some template found online. OCR can lead to some typos when the recognition fails.

The list of the deaths.

In Jinagxi, there is a special real estate agent, Yao Tao. He lost his legs as a kid and can only walk on his knees. Being a real estate agent, his daily work consists in showing the clients different houses. When there is no elevator, Yao will accompany the clients up the stairs. He says sometimes he walks more than 25,000 steps a day. Many people online are moved by his positiveness, while he insists that he’s just doing his job.

According to a travel agency, during the Covid-19 period, an economy-seat ticket to China can cost up to $26K. Police from Beijing and Shanghai have set up a special team to investigate it as a fraud case. Police are pleading with travelers to call the airline company or the police to ask for a partial refund.

A restaurant in Shanxi collapsed on August 29 while a party was going on inside. So far, there are 29 confirmed deaths, seven gravely injured and 21 slightly hurt. The dead are mostly from the same village. The cause of the tragedy is still unknown.

A fishing boat sunk near Pingtan Island in the Taiwan Strait at 4 am on August 30. Authorities suspect that it may have collided with a foreign commercial boat. So far, only two have been rescued, twelve are lost.

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