Local Reporters In Lively Action

(Yunnan Information News) August 15, 2006.

In Chenqiying village, Xiaobanqiao town, Kunming city, Yunnan there was a fire at a sponge factory resulting in the eight deaths and two injuries.

Two reporters from our newspaper went to the scene, but suddenly several police officers charged up, pushed the reporters back and attempted to prevent them from doing their work.  Even after the two reporters identified themselves, they were still refused.  The group of people carried the photographer away from the scene by force, while breaking the 50,000 RMB camera. 

Meanwhile, several uniformed police officers lifted the female reporter/writer up and carried her away from the scene.  She recalled: "We got out of the car and we asked the people in the neighborhood where the scene of the fire was.  In the absence of any police line, my photographer and I rushed directly over there.  We saw the building on fire and the fire fighters working to fight the fire.  Suddenly, two uniformed police officers came up and shoved us.  We produced our reporter IDs, but they continued to push us around.  My photographer said that we were willing to leave so that they can do their work, but they rushed us.  Someone was grabbing me and someone else was pushing me.  I was extremely angry and frightened.  I recalled that police officers '015597' and '055062' dragged me for more than 10 meters away from the scene.  I was confused and disoriented.  When I came to, I saw that they had smashed my photographer's camera."

While the other photographers were capturing the assault on the two reporters, another group of people came over to block the view and grab the television camera.  A plainclothesman grabbed the pen of a reporter/writer and threw it away while cursing: "Report your fucking report (记你妈的记)!"

One police officer said: "Fuck!  What are you doing here?" 

When the newspaper received the telephone call from the two reporters in the field, another three more reporters were sent to the scene.  When they got there, several of the security guards shouted: "You people want to die?  If you come any further, we are going to take your camera and smash it!"

Another security guard said: "You take good photographs and make sure you do not distort our image."

The above story actually overshadowed the fire itself.  Here is the report on the fire from a different local newspaper.  This was the job that the reporters from Yunnan Information News were prevented from doing.

(Yunnan Daily)  On August 10 at 4:37pm, a three-storey residential building in Chenqiying village, Banqiao town, Kunming city caught fire quickly.  Citizens and firefighters broken through the front door which was locked from the inside.  According to information, ten people died including two children and two people were injured.  The puzzle is why the rental building was locked from the inside and that nobody in the neighborhood heard any cries for help.