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Pensions for martyred firefighters' families

Pensions for martyred firefighters' families

Source: China Daily and New York Times, September 2015

Families of the firefighters who died while trying to save lives in the Tianjin blasts will be granted 2.3 million yuan ($360,669) pensions, the Beijing News quoted those firefighter's relatives as saying on Thursday.
A total of 97 firefighters, 11 policemen and 55 civilians were killed in the explosions, while hundreds remain in hospital. There are still 10 people missing, including seven firefighters and three civilians.

China stunned

The catastrophe in Tianjin has stunned a nation inured to living with one of the worst industrial safety records in the world. By the government’s own count, more than 68,000 people were killed in such accidents last year — nearly 200 every day, most of them poor, powerless and far from China’s boom towns.

But the August 12, 2015 blasts at Rui Hai, the chemical storage area, were different, because they occurred so close to middle-class neighborhoods in one of China’s most prosperous cities, a modern metropolis of 15 million just a half-hour ride from Beijing on gleaming high-speed trains. And they unfolded nearly in real time online, with dramatic video shared widely across social media before censors could stop it. Criticism of the party’s management of the economy had already been on the rise, with growth at its slowest pace in a quarter-century and the stock market reeling since early summer. Now the explosions have prompted broader questions about whether party officials who operate with few checks on their authority can pursue development without endangering public health and safety.

Monument to be built

The firefighters were posthumously accepted as martyrs, and a monument will be built on the site of the blasts in memory of those who lost their lives in the accident, Binhai New Area authorities announced Friday.

Tianjin plans to build a 24-hectare park on the site of the blast and the monument will be given pride of place, according to Binhua New Area Planning and Land Resources Administration.

Compensation for survivors

Apart from the pensions granted to the firefighters' families, the government plans to compensate the residents whose houses were damaged in the blasts.

Government in Tianjin's Binhai New Area, where the explosions happened, said the repurchase price for the damaged houses in the blasts will be 1.3 times of the house price at which the residents bought their homes.


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