Henan bridge collapse victims to get disparate compensation

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 February, 2013, 11:10am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 February, 2013, 9:03am

Family members of victims who died during a fatal bridge collapse in Henan last week will be compensated according to provincial “standards", which means some will receive more than others, the Henan Business Daily reported on Monday.

Quoting an official familiar with the case, the report said those with urban hukou would receive 400,000 yuan (HK$490,000) in compensation, and those with rural hukou would get 180,000 yuan.

Hukou, or household registration permit, identifies a person as belonging to a certain area of the country. Rural hukou holders are often less eligible for public services such as education or health care in cities.

“They told us the sooner we signed a compensation agreement, the more we would get,” a woman surnamed Sun told the China Youth Daily in a seperate report.

Sun lost her father in the disaster and had arrived in Yima city from Shandong to claim his body on Saturday.

“[On Sunday] they brought up the topic of compensation, but the amount was so small. They urged us to accept and said if we signed it before 12pm we would get 50,000 yuan…we did not accept,” she added.

Ten people were killed on Friday after a cargo truck carrying illegal holiday fireworks exploded on the Yuchang bridge near the town of Sanmenxia, western China's Henan province.

The explosion led to the collapse of an 80-metre section of the elevated highway. The truck and several other vehicles plummeted 30 metres down into a dry river.

Zhang Shaochun, a Zhengzhou-based lawyer told the Henan Business Daily, in accordance to law, compensation to the relatives of the deceased should account for medical expenses, nursing costs and "all related costs for life-saving treatment".

“Funeral expenses, transportation, accommodation, loss of working time and other reasonable costs should also be compensated for,” he added.

Update: According to subsequent reports on Monday afternoon, the government will compensate  victims' families "equally" in accordance with precedent laws on personal injury stipulated by the Supreme People's Court