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February 4, 2013

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Passers-by make off with worker's wages

WHEN a migrant worker fell off his scooter in a Shanghai street yesterday, cash worth around 17,000 yuan (US$2,728) was blown everywhere in the wind after it dropped out of his pocket.

As he lay on the ground, he watched as numerous strangers ran to gather up the money. But only two came back to him with cash. The rest ran off.

With the help of the two, he managed to retrieve about 3,000 yuan but the remainder vanished along with the rest of the passers-by.

Police said the money was the man's earnings for the past year.

The man, surnamed Qin from Anhui Province, had been working in the city for years, Shanghai TV news reported.

Officers were alerted to the incident on downtown Beidi Road and Jianhe Road at around 1pm. A witness, surnamed Yu, said Qin was "just sitting there, not knowing what to do." He had fallen off his scooter as he was making a turn.

Yu said dozens of passers-by picked up the money but disappeared before police arrived.

A set of pictures posted online showed a number of people, including some moped riders, stooping to pick up notes from the middle of the road.

A motorist surnamed Huang told a TV news report that "most of the money had been taken away within minutes." He got out of his car to try to stop people making off with the man's money.

One picture showed the man sitting on the ground with tears in his eyes, a bunch of notes in one hand and his phone in the other.

Police are examining camera footage to identify who took the cash and have appealed to anyone who did so to "return it as soon as possible." But by late yesterday, when the man left the police station after helping officers with their investigation, no one had shown up to return money. TV news said that one person, unidentified, had said he would return money via a friend but declined to be interviewed.

The incident won widespread sympathy online. The story and pictures had been forwarded thousands of times and the people who had taken the money roundly condemned. There were offers of money to help the man make up his loss.

"It's not only a moral issue," was one Weibo comment, "It's a crime that should be punished."

Another said: "Their conscience has been blown away, only greed was left on the ground."

Rush to help after bus accident

Passengers, passers-by and sanitary workers rushed to the aid of a woman trapped under a bus in Shanghai's Pudong New Area yesterday.

They lifted the front end of the bus to allow the middle-aged woman to be dragged clear. She suffered head injuries and was taken to hospital.

Police are investigating the cause of the accident in Pudong Road S.


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