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September 5, 2011

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Park swimmers beaten

THE river administrator for downtown Luxun Park violently drove away middle-aged swimmers as hundreds of visitors descended on the park over the weekend, and four men were injured in the incident.

The victims were swimming in the river about 6:20pm on Saturday when two electric boats rushed to them. Staffers on the boats hit the swimmers with iron rods and iron chains. The staff even ran after the swimmers and battered them after they climbed onto the bank, witnesses said. The violence stopped after police arrived after being tipped of by onlookers.

Four men in their 50s and 60s suffered bruises, according to the Hongkou District police.

Wu Gang, director of the park, said the park had nothing to do with the violence because it has leased the river to a firm that runs a fishing business.

He declined to release the name of the company.

Police confirmed the conflict was between the firm and the swimmers and said the company and the injured reached a compensation agreement yesterday and that they would impose no penalties on the park or the firm.

Swimming is forbidden in the river. But some nevertheless climbed the gate to go inside for a swim after the park was closed.

"The light is very dim at night," Wu said. "It's very dangerous to swim in the river without a lifeguard."


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