The story appears on

Page A4

November 23, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Society

Inferno victims lose in court

VICTIMS of the Jiaozhou Road high-rise inferno who suspect that public donations to a fund to aid victims' families are "missing" lost their court case yesterday after they had sought publication of the total amount of public donations and a list of people distributing the money.

The 21 victims, led by Wang Hong, whose wife and mother were killed in the accident, attended the two hearings yesterday at the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court. Though the victims lost in both hearings, they said they didn't regret filing a lawsuit against the government as they really hoped to know how many people had donated for them.

"We think it is a must for us to figure out the details and we really want to express our genuine gratitude to those who had taken their heart to help us," said Wang.

In the first hearing, the victims said they wanted to know the exact figure of donations that had been collected from the public after the fire. They also demanded the city government show them the distribution of these donations.

The defendant's lawyers, on behalf of the city government, said the information sought by the victims could not be open to the public as "it was beyond the government's scope of duty."

He said the accident was not a natural disaster but was caused by violation and illegal acts from enterprises. The government did not organize any donation after the fire and had not participated in collecting or distributing the donations, the defendant's lawyer said.

The blaze victims also said they didn't believe a third-party auditing report released by the Shanghai Zhonghua Certified Public Accountants Co last Saturday that claimed it found no problems and no mishandling of donations to the inferno victims.

They believed the total amount of donations was far greater than the number publicized and they wondered where the rest of the money had gone.

The second hearing focused on the release of the name list of the group dealing with the aftermath work, which included investigating the fire's cause and dealing with compensation issues. The plaintiff lawyer said they had "enough reasons to suspect" that interested parties linked to the fatal incident had joined the group.

"That's why we asked to release the name list," said Wang, citing the regulations concerning government information disclosure.

The defendant's lawyers said the name list is not included in the government information but instead is in a file of the Shanghai committee of the Communist Party of China. The defendant regard it as a "state secret."

The victims said the aftermath group is a joint one set up both by the Party's Shanghai committee and the city government, and thus it's reasonable for the release of the name list and other relevant information.

The fire killed 58 people and injured 71 others in November 2010.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend