Suicides not end of responsibility
Updated: 2015-12-30 08:16
Rescuers mourn for the victims at the landslide site at an industrial park in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, Dec. 26, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]
Will suicide end the responsibility of officials for the accidents they should have been held accountable for?
A week after the landslide in Shenzhen, South China, which killed seven people and left 75 missing, the director of the local urban administration jumped to his death from a residential building on Sunday. He was the head of the department that sanctioned the piling up of excavated earth and construction waste, that buried at least 33 buildings when it collapsed.
On the same day, the chairman of the board directors of a gypsum mine in East China's Shandong province reportedly jumped to his death in a pit after the mine caved in, killing one worker and trapping 17 others.
It is still not clear why they had decided to take their own lives. And it will be hard to find out what was on their minds.
Maybe they had a guilty conscience for the casualties the accidents caused or maybe their deaths were meant to protect the dirty deals behind the accidents. Maybe they were deeply involved in abuse of power and they just wanted to protect the proceeds they illegally obtained by putting a hand on themselves.
Whatever the reason behind their deaths, their deaths have only made things more complicated for those investigating what exactly led to the disasters.
However, the deaths should not prevent the investigators from continuing until the whole truth behind both fatal accidents is found out. Instead, the investigations should also look into the reasons of their deaths.
Furthermore, investigators should be vigilant to the possibility that others involved will seek to shift their responsibility for the accidents onto the dead in order to escape the punishments they deserve.