On January 24th, a fire in Xinyu, Jiangxi Province resulted in the death of 39 individuals and injuries to nine others. This unfortunate incident was the second deadly fire to occur in one week, with a previous fire at an elementary school in Henan claiming the lives of 13 third-grade students on Friday.
There was a significant lack of media coverage and widespread suppression of public discussions regarding the Henan fire, which sparked outrage among internet users.
The discussion surrounding the Xinyu fire revolved around the ineffectiveness of government’s calls for stricter fire safety measures and the difficult circumstances faced by college students on the outskirts of China’s education system. According to Nectar Gan’s report on CNN, this was a major topic of discussion. the Xinyu fire:
According to Xinhua, a majority of the individuals affected by the fire and dense smoke were college students attending classes at the facility and guests staying at the guesthouse.
According to state-run news agency Xinhua, a preliminary inquiry revealed that the fire at a basement cold storage facility was due to inadequate renovation. The agency stated that twelve individuals have been arrested in connection with the incident.
Chinese President Xi Jinping released a statement regarding the fire, acknowledging it as another significant safety disaster that has happened recently and urging for serious contemplation.
According to Xinhua, Xi entreated government officials to thoroughly absorb the lessons, diligently examine potential hazards in production, and decisively reduce the prevalence of safety incidents to safeguard the well-being of individuals and properties, as well as maintain social stability.Source]
A large number of the individuals who passed away were students working towards associate degrees. They had signed up for an after-school training program in order to prepare for a test that would enable them to transfer into four-year bachelor’s programs. Freezing Point, a weekly addition to the China Youth Daily under the control of the Party,interviewed “associate-to-bachelors” (专升本 zhuānshēngběn
There are currently enrolled students in the class.
The students shared that the classroom windows were closed and the door was often narrow, which made it difficult to escape the fire and resulted in the loss of their friends., such as ProPublica, have identified the use of video analysis software by law enforcement agencies
Additional investigations by news organizations, including ProPublica, have uncovered the utilization of video analysis technology by police departments.
The hazardous state of the classroom was verified due to careless building practices and a hospital staff member in Xinyu stated that most of the fatalities were a result of breathing in smoke.
On WeChat, Shen Maohua, using the pen name “Wei Zhou,” stated that the writer wrote.
Efforts to increase fire safety inspections through official and public appeals were ultimately ineffective.:
If the standards are truly stringent, there should be a contingency plan in place for all scenarios. How could a situation like this still occur?
The explanation is straightforward. When regulations are excessively stringent, the agency in charge gains significant control. If you have no influence in the fire department, you cannot obtain a fire safety certification. They will delay the process for months and you will have no recourse. An entrepreneur shared with me that he had experienced this dilemma. However, after receiving some advice, he bought equipment from a company recommended by the fire department and was able to quickly obtain the necessary certificate.
I am not implying that every supervisory department participates in seeking rent. I am simply stating that without a clear and fair legal process, strict supervision can actually create more opportunities for those in positions of power to seek rent, and it does not effectively prevent future disasters.
This leads to a harmful pattern. Whenever there is a negative event, there is a demand for “tougher oversight.” However, the regulatory agency not only shirks accountability but also gains more authority, making it even more challenging to collaborate with. As a result, the initial fire hazards are not effectively resolved. This continues until the next calamity occurs.
So why do these disasters keep recurring? You tell me. [Chinese]