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February 5, 2013

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Donations flooding in for worker who lost wages

Chinese philanthropist Chen Guangbiao said yesterday that he will make up the losses of a migrant worker whose wages were taken by passers-by after a scooter accident in Shanghai on Sunday.

By yesterday afternoon, Qin Xiaoliang, a delivery man with a courier company, had recovered 7,800 yuan of the 17,600 yuan cash he lost after more people returned the money, police said.

In addition, Xue Manzi, a well-known angel investor, has said he will give Qin 15,000 yuan.

On his Weibo microblog, Chen wrote: "Qin, don't feel sad. Come to Nanjing by February 6 and I will compensate you for all your losses." He included a picture of himself holding two stacks of banknotes.

The recycling company CEO, who is known for his high-profile charity work, also offered 200,000 yuan for anyone who could provide him with video footage of the incident.

"I was very angry when I heard the news because it is quite difficult for a migrant worker to earn the money," Chen said.

Before Chen and Xue's announcements, Shanghai residents had already donated thousands of yuan through police and a local television station to help the man have a happy Spring Festival.

Yesterday, 29-year-old Qin murmured a simple "thank you" when reporters asked him for a comment as cameras flashed around him.

Qin, who could only watch as strangers made off with his money, said he was surprised that some of the people who had taken the cash returned it later. Almost 20 people who picked up notes had returned more than 4,000 yuan by 3:30pm yesterday, bringing the total recovered to 7,800 yuan.

"It never occurred to me the money would be returned," Qin said outside a police station.

Qin thought he might have had to cancel plans to go back home to Anhui Province for the festival and have to find more jobs in the city to earn the money back, a colleague surnamed Li told reporters.

"He told us happily on Sunday morning that he was going to deposit the money, which included the annual income of his father, a road sweeper, and then go home for the festival," Li said.

Qin said he was planning to put the money in a bank near the courier company.

"I was riding from the company to the bank with the money in my back pocket. I just put it in my pocket as I thought it was just a short ride."

But at the junction of Beidi Road near Jianhe Road he took a spill, and the money fell out.

Camera footage

"The cash scattered around and I was trying to pick one banknote after another and a bus drove by and blew the money everywhere," he said.

Only two people came back to him with cash. The rest ran off.

Dozens of people, including pedestrians, scooters and drivers, stopped to pick up the money, according to camera footage.

"It was all a mess. Everyone was picking up the money and I had no idea who had lost it," said a street sweeper surnamed Han.

Yuan Chunyan, who donated 360 yuan yesterday, said: "It's not easy for a migrant worker to earn money, which he might have planned for building a house, getting married or paying for his kid's tuition. Most people in the city are lovely and kind."

A resident surnamed Zheng said: "He came and helped to develop the city. Now he's in trouble and we should help him back."

Another 19 people, including students and white-collar workers, called the police saying they wanted to help Qin enjoy a happy Spring Festival in his hometown.

At the end of a narrow lane in suburban Huacao town, home to thousands of migrant workers, Qin lives in a rented apartment which costs him about 300 yuan per month.

"Qin is a very hard-working man," said his neighbor, a woman surnamed Ru.

Ru said Qin was working as a courier alongside her husband at a company several years ago, but they lost their jobs when the company was facing bankruptcy.

She said Qin found a job delivering goods for another company during the day while at nights he worked part-time at a slaughterhouse.

"His job at the slaughterhouse was to carry the pigs from one place to another. It was hard work but he has done it for several years," said Ru.

Police said their investigations at the courier company confirmed that Qin was carrying 17,600 yuan in cash when the accident happened.

His monthly salary at the company was between 2,500 and 4,000 yuan, police said.


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