Villagers pillage food from scene of multiple-vehicle collision

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 March, 2013, 11:13am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 March, 2013, 1:31pm

Apparently unconcerned about people injured in a series of traffic accidents on a highway in Hunan, over a 100 villagers rushed to pillage oranges and potatoes deposited at the scene.

The incident occurred on Wednesday morning after nearly 20 vehicles, including freight trucks, collided. The series of accidents occurred on the Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau highway near the capital city of Changsha. At least 14 people were injured, the Hunan based Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reported on Thursday, quoting police officers.

Potatoes and oranges were scattered at the scene because two of the trucks which crashed had been carrying them. Local residents saw this as an opportunity to get free food, the paper reported. Many people brought their own barrels and baskets to carry the goods away.

The Herald quoted a doctor, surnamed Zhou, saying: “We saw many villagers rushing to pick up oranges rolling from a truck when we arrived at the scene at 7.50am.”

Police officers tried to stop some of the people pillaging the goods. But after the officers left, over 100 locals returned to the scene, the paper reported.

On Wednesday morning, a heavy fog had shrouded different parts of Hunan – prompting the provincial meteorological observatory to issue a yellow warning. It also urged drivers to be careful.

Similar traffic accidents have occurred in the past. In Yunnan last year, when a truck loaded with water melons was knocked over, locals rushed to grab them. This occurred while the truck’s driver remained stuck inside his damaged vehicle.

Asked by DragonTV reporters whether such behaviour was appropriate while the driver remained injured, one villager, holding a melon in his hand, said: “Of course, the melons are still in good shape and we can eat them. They will just be thrown away if we do not take them.”

Such insensitivity has prompted people to urge the authorities to take a tougher stand against such behaviour.