From the Chinese press

Updated: 2013-07-12 07:25

(China Daily)

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Unfair to criticize crash victims

Two teenage Chinese girls, students of a school in Jiangshan, Zhejiang province, on way to attend a summer camp in the US were killed in the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco. Although the nation as a whole is mourning the victims, some people have unfairly criticized them because of their social background, says an article on Excerpts:

Some netizens have criticized the victims because they were part of a students' group whose parents could afford to pay 30,000 yuan ($4,899) for just a 15-day trip. They say only rich families or government officials can spare 30,000 yuan, which accounts for 85 percent of an ordinary person's annual salary.

But it is unfair to blame the children if their parents are rich or government officials. Also, it's insensitive to stereotype people, especially in times of tragedies. It's human nature to sympathize with families of disaster victims. So it's possible that the netizens have criticized the victims to sensationalize the issue.

Admittedly, there is need to question the rationality of sending children in flocks to summer camps abroad. But it is ridiculous to suggest that the mad rush for overseas summer camps is to blame for the loss of lives in disasters. We should be human enough to mourn the victims of disasters irrespective of their identity and social background.

Learn to cope with emergencies

Although passengers should not try to grab their luggage before escaping from a crashed plane which could explode, those who do so should not be criticized because the human mind works in weird ways in times of panic. Besides, such people may not have the knowledge to cope with such emergencies, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

Video clips of the crashed Asiana Airlines flight show a woman in a green blouse fleeing with her big suitcase, with thick smoke billowing and flames rolling in the background. Some netizens have criticized her for being greedy, saying she cared more for her belongings than her life. They have also said that she might have made it difficult for other passengers to escape.

Others have said that her action was "instinctive", which revealed she did not know how to react in emergencies.

It's hard to stay calm when a plane crashes. But the woman's action is a warning to air passengers to improve their emergency-response knowledge.

If all the passengers on the crashed Asian Airlines flight knew how to cope with emergencies, there would have been fewer injuries and deaths. Some passengers on the ill-fated flight later said that many people had unfastened their seat belts before the plane landed and as result their heads hit the seats in front.

To cope with emergencies, we should improve our survival knowledge and never hesitate to take preventive measures. We should think of the best but prepare for the worst.

(China Daily USA 07/12/2013 page16)