A newspaper in Lanzhou has sacked two reporters for fabricating a report that said two cooked children's arms were found at a Gansu rubbish dump last week.
The April 4 report in the Lanzhou Morning Post, written by Tang Yuanzhi and Lu Jinfeng, said the arms and other pieces of unidentified meat were found in a bag along with cooking ingredients such as ginger and chilli. It quoted unidentified police officers as saying the limbs had been cooked recently.
But a day after the report, the Lanzhou Public Security Bureau said the upper arms and other body tissue discovered at the site were the remains of a body used to make a medical teaching specimen.
The bureau said a laboratory connected to the Gansu College of Traditional Chinese Medicine prepared the specimen and the leftover body parts were inadvertently disposed of as rubbish. The bureau also denied any cooking ingredients were found with the remains.
According to a statement yesterday on GSCN.com.cn, a Gansu provincial government Information Office website, the two Lanzhou Morning Post reporters who wrote the initial story were sacked to 'be strict with the discipline of news and propaganda and to curb false news in journalism and propaganda'.
A woman from the newspaper's editorial section confirmed the sackings yesterday.
Tang told the South China Morning Post on April 4 that he saw the arms himself, but the next day said he based the story on the statements of other witnesses. He refused to comment yesterday.