Kunming railway station attack

Kunming citizens out in force for blood donation drive to help railway attack victims

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 March, 2014, 4:45pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 March, 2014, 8:31am

With numerous casualties of Saturday’s brutal Kunming railway station attack still being treated at hospital, the city’s residents have banded together to help the victims however they could – whether through expressions of sympathy, or more importantly, in blood.

Citizens flocked to blood donation centres on Sunday, after the media reported that all trauma patients and around 70 others in serious condition were still being treated at 11 hospitals in Kunming.

Watch: Kunming residents queue to donate blood after train station attack

Knife-wielding assailants, reportedly from the restive Xinjing province, went on a stabbing rampage at the railway station, leaving at least 29 civilians dead and some 140 injured.

Twelve blood-collection vans were sent on Sunday around the Kunming, a city of three million people. By 1.40am on Monday, when the last van returned, 2,464 citizens had donated 70.38 litres of blood – the most ever collected in a day by the blood bank since it was established more than three decades ago, according to Zhu Xiangming, spokesman of the Kunming Blood Centre.

“All of [the donors] came on their own after the media reports. We did not even need to make public appeal,” Zhu said.

Many waited in long queues to donate, including 120 armed police officers stationed there.

Some taxi drivers waived fares for passengers who were on their way to donate blood, Zhu said.

Zhu was particularly moved by an elderly woman who came with a big pot of boiled eggs for the donors. “She said she was too old to donate blood and she could do nothing to [catch the] bad guys, but she wished to contribute by giving eggs to those who did donate, for their nutrition,” said Zhu.

Eating protein-rich foods, which contain nutrients for healthy blood cells, is a standard practice after blood-letting.

“We wish to express our gratitude to the warm-hearted citizens for their support and thank the frontline medical staff for their hard work,” the blood centre said in a statement.

Zhu said the outpouring of donations had guaranteed enough blood for emergency use – although patients’ treatment may take a while and a fresh supply may be needed in the future.

“Blood products have expiration dates, from 35 days to one year or four years, and our storage capacity is limited,” Zhu said.