Woman who died saving kids was ‘only in it for the fame’

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By HUO YUEYUE
Society Correspondent

Chen, pictured in her prime, was sliced into 57 pieces trying to get on the cover of Chinese 'Vogue'

FOSHAN (China Daily Show) – A blind pensioner whose selfless actions saved the lives of three children has been condemned as a “money-grubbing fame whore” by netizens.

Chen Ming, 86, was carrying a large boulder when she heard cries from a nearby threshing machine in an agricultural market in Foshan, South China.

Dropping her livelihood, Chen rushed to the nearby machine, into which the three had apparently fallen while playing. After several hours, Chen single-handedly succeeded in helping them escape, even as hundreds of onlookers failed to offer any assistance.

Tragically, however, Chen failed to save herself: the short-sighted senior was unable to find a way out and died when owner Qi Gang wandered over and, apparently ignoring the screams from inside, turned the machine on.

After being admonished by police, Qi offered 4,000 yuan in compensation to Chen’s family and promised to pay more attention to public safety in future.

But the payout – and subsequent publicity – has led many to suggest Chen was not the Good Samaritan she appears to be.

“Chen is quite clearly a shameless publicity hound,” read one Weibo post that has since been approvingly re-shared thousands of times. “I bet she’s loving all this.”

“Poking her nose in other people’s business and being rewarded: what’s wrong with this country today?” asked blogger Lao Feng on redrants.com, a popular Maoist website.

“Time was when minding other people’s business was a patriotic duty for reporting anti-revolutionary activities. Now it has become just another capitalist plot,” Feng concluded in disgust.

A Foshan tourist official denied meanwhile that the incident reflected badly on Chinese society.

“We know Chen was blind,” he pointed out. “It’s quite possible that everyone else who failed to intervene was blind too – or deaf. Or mute. Or possibly all three.”

Shao Guanxianshi contributed to this story

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