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January 5, 2011

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Taxis refused bus stab heroes

CITY taxis refused to take four badly injured migrant workers to hospital, after the men were stabbed protecting female bus passengers.

And when the have-a-go heroes from Anhui Province finally managed to hail a cab, the driver would only ferry them if they paid almost 10 times the fare.

Police are hunting a 10-strong gang that boarded the vehicle in Minhang District on Monday to steal passengers' bags, and fled after stabbing the workers who came to the aid of women onboard.

But after their heroics, the men were left trying to staunch their wounds on the sidewalk as taxis turned them down. A friend of the men, surnamed Ren, said the first two taxi drivers just waved their hands and shook their heads at the bleeding men and drove off.

A third driver took the fare after they offered 100 yuan (US$15) for the short journey which should have cost 12 yuan. The driver did not give an invoice, but Ren took a picture of the blue cab using her mobile phone and recorded the car plate number.

The local traffic watchdog said it will investigate the incident and will issue punishment once confirmed. The offender would be fined 200 yuan and suspended from operations for 15 days.

The injured men were in stable condition yesterday, after emergency treatment at Dahua Hospital, but face another worry as they can't afford their medical bills.

The men are required to pay more than 8,000 yuan by the hospital, or be denied access to medication. But according to one of the men surnamed Wang, they are unlikely to come up with that amount of money in such a short time.

At 4pm on Monday, Wang and his colleagues tried to stop a gang robbing passengers on a No. 729 bus. The thieves stabbed the men, leaving two with severe abdominal and back wounds, before fleeing with handbags.

In Shanghai, people are rewarded and have expenses covered if heroic actions - such as standing out in dangerous situations - are recognized by authorities.

Ren Pei, an official with the Minhang District Politics and Law Commission, told Shanghai Daily yesterday that the injured men could receive compensation from a "bravery fund" within a week, if their actions meet requirements.

But officials haven't received a police report on the incident, and cannot act without this, Ren Pei added.


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