Crowd wrecks motorcycle factory

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 March, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 March, 1997, 12:00am

A JOINT-venture motorcycle manufacturing factory in Huiyang, Guangdong, has estimated losses of two million yuan (HK$1.8 million) after hundreds of villagers burst into its plant, smashing vehicles and machinery.

The crowd, armed with cudgels and stones, numbered 500 at its height and were mostly villagers from Liangjing town, according to a local Chinese newspaper.

They were reportedly angry at unsettled compensation from official land reclamation and the factory's plan to drain polluted water into the village.

Four security guards were injured when they tried to stop the attackers and six staff were under observation in hospital yesterday.

Police are searching for two Hong Kong men, suspected to have stirred up the villagers.

The two were said have seen factory workers planting drainage pipes in the village and encouraged villagers to protest outside the plant.

Some began throwing stones at the windows and others burst inside the factory, wrecking machines, staff coaches and motorcycles.

Some of the crowd lingered outside the factory after the attack still holding sticks.

Nearly 100 officers from the Public Security Bureau were called in to quell the unrest.

The villagers dispersed later after warnings by the police. The factory is a joint Taiwanese, American and Chinese venture.

It opened last October and is still in a pre-operational stage.

But Taiwanese executives are already reported to be considering moving the plant to another location because of the attack.