Victims of firework show deserve investigation

Updated: 2012-10-15 20:43


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The international fireworks festival on Saturday in the West Lake of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, turned into a nightmare for those who had gathered to watch it. Some of the fireworks that were set off, rather than exploding above the crowd, fell from the sky and blow up on or near the ground, injuring 151 people.

The local government said it had intended to have the firework show become popular tourist attraction and use it as a way to boost economic growth.

But what about safety?

About 1 million people came together in a fixed place at a set time. The public security departments should have adopted emergency plans that they could follow in the case of accidents. But after the accident and injury of more than 100 people, the firework show still went on as if nothing had happened.

That proved that no emergency plan had been pursued in the first place that night.

The local government said it will compensate the victims for their losses and medical expenses but didn't explain where the indemnity money will come from. Authorities are acting irresponsibly by trying to deal with the situation this way.

Although nobody was killed in the accident, this is a typical of the sorts of situations that should be avoided. The government should investigate the accident and find out who is responsible for it. Meanwhile important details from the investigation should be disclosed to the public as soon as possible.

The government's ignorance of people's lives and safety contrasts sharply with its earnestness in trying to promote economic growth.

Decision-makers should always keep in mind that economic prosperity will lead to public happiness. If they cannot protect the people, economic growth will lose all of its meaning.

Translated by Li Yang from Beijing News Daily