Extreme heat brings 'dead' man back to life
Updated: 2013-08-05 17:37
People carry a sheet-covered vendor's "corpse" on a gurney to help him fake his own death for financial gains in Wuhan, Hubei province, Aug 3, 2013. They claimed that urban management workers had beaten the man to death and demanded tens of thousands of yuan in compensation. The scheme ended up backfiring on the vendor himself because he couldn't bear the heat. [Photo/CFP]
WUHAN -- A soft drink vendor's scheme to fake his own death for financial gain was revealed after the heat in central China's Hubei Province proved too much for him to bear on Saturday.
The incident occurred around 4 p.m., when more than 10 men were holding the sheet-covered vendor's "corpse" on a gurney near the Jianghan Road subway station in the provincial capital Wuhan.
They claimed that urban management workers had beaten the man to death and demanded tens of thousands of yuan in compensation, a worker with the city's urban management committee said Monday.
More than 300 people gathered at the scene, and later, over 80 police officers were dispatched to maintain order there.
The crowd dispersed two hours later, when the "dead" vendor suddenly jumped up, grabbed a bottle of water and drank it before saying, "It's too hot. I can't bear it anymore."
The soft drink vendor surnamed Han and two others have been detained for disturbing public order.
After being detained, Han told police that urban management workers with the city's Jianghan District clashed with the vendors after telling them that their stands were blocking traffic earlier in the day, asking them to leave and confiscating their mineral waters and other beverages.
A "dead" soft drink vendor suddenly jumps up from a gurney and grabs a bottle of water after he couldn't bear the sweltering heat in Wuhuan, Hubei province, Aug 3, 2013. The vendor, surnamed Han, intended to fake his own death for financial gains by putting the blame on Chengguan, or urban management officers. [Photo/CFP]
The No. 2 Hospital of Wuhan City confirmed that some vendors and urban management workers sustained minor injuries in the altercation, but no one was killed.
An Internet user posted photos of the scene online, which netizens have used to mock the recent bout of hot weather that has affected most of the country.
Saturday's weather record shows that the day's high hit 36 degrees Celsius in Wuhan, but local residents taking independent temperature measurements recorded the high at 45 degrees Celsius in downtown Wuhan.
Other parts of China have been experiencing extreme heat, as well, including Fujian, Hunan and Zhejiang provinces and Chongqing and Shanghai municipalities. More than 10 people across the country died of heatstroke last week.
China's urban management workers, or chengguan, are often criticised for their violent approach to tackling low-level, urban and non-criminal regulation violations. Reports about urban management law enforcement units often appear in the media due to accusations of chengguan officers beating vendors and smashing their stalls.
In the latest case, a watermelon vendor who brawled with urban management officers in central China's Hunan Province died of an intracranial hemorrhage caused by external force on July 17, according to the autopsy report released late July.