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Compensation for badly burned woman

A WOMAN who was disfigured after an oil barrel exploded at a salvage station was awarded 196,000 yuan (US$28,734) compensation yesterday.

Songjiang District People's Court heard that a 29-year-old Anhui Province native surnamed Sun, who was then seven months pregnant, had gone out for a walk on November 7, 2007.

She stopped at a salvage station run by a fellow villager surnamed Cheng to chat to her. Cheng had just collected a waste oil barrel from a nearby factory and a passer-by, Fan Wenda, asked to buy the barrel, which still contained some liquid.

To find out what sort of liquid the barrel contained, Fan chiseled a small hole in the side and poured a little liquid into a bowl. But as Fan tried to light it, the flame from his lighter ignited the liquid inside the barrel, which exploded and the burning liquid splashed over Sun.

She suffered serious burns to her face, neck and body. Since then she hasn't been able to raise her head because of her scares. She also couldn't breast-feed her baby because her breasts were seriously burnt.

"We have used up all our savings and owe debts to pay the huge medical costs," Sun told the court.

She sued Fan and Cheng for compensation last November.

Fan argued that Sun, since she was pregnant, shouldn't have been at the salvage station. Cheng refused to pay compensation, saying she didn't cause the explosion.

But the court ruled that Fan should bear major responsibility but Cheng shared some blame. The court ruled Fan should pay 137,000 yuan and Cheng 59,000 yuan.


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