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May 6, 2014

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Crowds pay respects to 2 lost firefighters

THOUSANDS of people gathered at the Longhua Funeral Home yesterday morning to pay their respects to the two firefighters who plunged to their deaths from a 13th story window last Thursday.

The bodies of 23-year-old Qian Lingyun and 20-year-old Liu Jie were laid out at the home to allow their families, friends, colleagues, members of the public and government officials to pay tributes and present flowers.

The parents of the two men wept openly during a special funeral service, while Qian’s mother fainted several times.

The officers were honored as Revolutionary Martyrs and members of the Communist Party of China, and awarded Top-Level Merit Citations and Shanghai May 4 Youth Medals, officials said.

Attending the ceremony were two women who went to primary school with Liu. One described her former classmate as someone who was “always ready to help others” and “very clever.”

The other said she had lost contact with Liu after school and was “sad to reunite in this way.”

A member of the public said she had asked for the day off so she could attend the service.

“These two men deserve our respect as they died protecting us,” the unnamed woman said.

“My brother is a firefighter and we often worry about him. But we would never ask him to give up his career,” she said.

A woman who lives near the funeral home, said: “I heard about the service on TV and wanted to be here. It’s so sad that they died at such a young age. It must be a huge loss for their families.”


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