Chinese social media has been abuzz with discussions about the death of three children and their mum by their nanny for a week, with netizens denouncing the property company for shirking responsibility and calling for a thorough investigation.
The victims were killed by their nanny who allegedly set fire to their apartment on the 18th floor in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province, on June 22. Police have arrested the nanny, surnamed Mo, on charges of arson and theft, but her motivation behind the crime is still unknown. The case is under investigation.
The three children include two boys, aged 6 and 11, and a girl, aged 9. Their father, Lin Shengbin, was away on a business trip at the time of the murder.
The 18th floor of the apartment building has been cordoned off, and wreaths could be seen in the compound when the Global Times reporter visited the scene Thursday.
The tragedy has attracted huge public attention. The hashtag “Hangzhou nanny sets apartment on fire” has topped the Weibo’s trending list since June 22. The topic has generated 400 million views on Weibo by press time, with netizens posting more than 267,000 comments.
Netizens’ outrage has shifted from criticizing the nanny and China’s unregulated housekeeping market to the compound’s property management company, especially after it released an announcement early on Thursday which showed its slack management of routine fire control.
Under huge pressure after the tragedy, several security guards altered the fire hydrant examination records, after initially forgetting to examine them, and the company took responsibility for their negligence, Greentown China Holdings Limited, one of the leading property developers in China, said in response to the public outcry early Thursday.
The Greentown said that they will not evade responsibility, and will organize regular firefighting drills for residents.
Greentown’s Weibo post has been reposted more than 30,000 times by press time although the company shut down the comment function.
Around 10 family members of the victims told the Global Times that they will sue the Greentown and the nanny’s agency.
Ye Wenbo, a lawyer from Beijing Lianggao Law Firm, told the Global Times that the Greentown’s negligence did not directly cause the death of the victims, so it would probably receive administrative penalties rather than punishment according to the Criminal Law.
Ye said that the examination of the firefighting equipment should not be limited to the property management company, and local firefighting departments should also conduct regular firefighting inspections.
In an open letter written by Lin Shengbin on Thursday, he urged the government to investigate the relevant evidence including the maintenance record of firefighting equipment, emergency rescue by the property management company and the use of fire hydrants in the tragedy. — (Global Times)
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