A Sichuan woman who set herself alight to protest against the forced demolition of her house has died after fighting for her life for two weeks, prompting outrage among ordinary people across the internet. About 30 uniformed police officers went to Tang Fuzhen's house in Chengdu early on November 13, using bulldozers to pull down her front gate. They barged in, smashing her belongings and beating her relatives, said Wei Jiao, the wife of her nephew, who was in the house at the time. Tang, 47, went to the roof of her three-storey house and told police she was willing to negotiate with them, but would set herself on fire unless they left her house, Wei said. But instead of listening to her plea, Wei said, the men sawed down several steel doors to get up to the top floor, where more than 10 of her relatives were hiding. They kicked and beat them with sticks. Wei's one-year-old baby was snatched from her while they kicked her. 'She saw that her house was broken into and all of her relatives were beaten up, so she got desperate,' Wei said. 'So she kept pouring petrol on herself, hoping to get their attention. She was trying to get them to go away.' Wei, who has gone into hiding for fear of being arrested, said Tang had pleaded with them for 20 minutes before she set herself on fire. Tang died in hospital on Sunday, 16 days after the incident. Tang Fuming, Tang Fuzhen's brother, said three of their relatives were still in hospital with injuries from the incident, and about 10 relatives had been detained by police, having been accused of 'obstructing public duty'. 'The worst thing about my sister's death was that she was in hospital on her own for more than two weeks and nobody was allowed to see her,' Tang Fuming said. 'If we had been there, she probably would have got better.' There was an outpouring of sympathy for Tang in internet forums across the mainland. 'She threatened them with death, but why did she need to do that? Because she had no other weapons, she was powerless against the law enforcers,' one posting said. At a press conference on Tuesday in Chengdu, officials told state media that Tang's house was in the way of a road project, and although the local government had offered compensation for its demolition, she had refused to accept it. The local urban management and Public Security Bureau chief Zhong Changlin was quoted by the China Daily as saying that Tang and her relatives had hurled rocks, bricks and bottles containing petrol at his men. Hu Xingdou, a professor at Beijing Institute of Technology, said the tragedy showed that officials put development and profit above human lives. 'It shows how ruthless our society has become,' he said, 'and how they have got their priorities completely wrong.'