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Relatives claim 1.2 m yuan for boy killed inescalator accident

[ 2011-07-11 10:43]     字号 [] [] []  
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The family of a boy killed in a subway escalator accident is considering legal action as negotiations over compensation stall.

Wu Shibo, 13, died and 30 other people were injured last Tuesday when a malfunction caused a rising escalator at the Beijing Zoo station on Line 4 to reverse.

The boy's father, Wu Conglin, who was among those injured, has demanded 1.2 million yuan ($185,615) from Beijing MTR Corp, which operates the line.

The company has countered with an offer of 700,000 yuan.

"We're still talking about the amount of compensation with the family of the victim," Yang Ling, spokesman of Beijing MTR Corp, told China Daily.

A total of 17 relatives of Wu Shibo have traveled to Beijing from Anhui province since the accident, including Huang Aiying, the victim's mother, who was sent to Beijing University People's Hospital after fainting at her hotel.

"I couldn't help thinking of my son," she said in a brief interview with China Daily. "It's unbelievable he's gone."

The boy's uncle, Huang Yuhua, said 1.2 million yuan is a reasonable sum to cover the death, funeral expenses, transportation costs and the loss of income and mental distress.

"We're not blackmailing anyone," he said. "We talked the compensation over with the Beijing MTR Corporation (on Saturday) and they only offered 700,000 (yuan) instead of the 1.2 million yuan we asked for.

"We hope we can reach an agreement or we'll take legal action."

Wu Na, sister of Wu Shibo, was also injured and remains in Beijing Children's Hospital.

Huang said her son had just been admitted to Bozhou No 2 Middle School, the second best middle school in town, and it was his first visit to the capital.

"He poured me a cup of tea and kept talking to me the night before he set off to Beijing," Huang recalled.

Huang Haoyu, elder cousin of Wu Shibo, described the boy as very obedient and talented. "He was champion in a city table tennis competition," he said.

Yu Lingyun, a professor at Tsinghua University's law school, said the family's compensation request was reasonable and could have been even higher considering the impact of the death.

"Considering the loss of a life, 1.2 million yuan is not excessive," said Yu. "They could file a civil suit for their rights if negotiations fail."

Wu Conglin said the family plans to donate some of the compensation to public education efforts on subway safety.

(中国日报网英语点津 Julie 编辑)

Relatives claim 1.2 m yuan for boy killed inescalator accident

Relatives claim 1.2 m yuan for boy killed inescalator accident

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China Daily for one year.