Chinese Spacecraft Launch Center Incident Left Six People With Serious Injuries

November 30, 2020 Updated: December 2, 2020

Six people were badly injured and had to be taken to a hospital following a rocket launch in China earlier this year, according to an internal document obtained by The Epoch Times.

The incident occurred at Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Center in Hainan Island after the launch of a rocket that carried an orbiter, lander, and rover bound for Mars at 12:41 p.m. local time on July 23.

Incident

The document, obtained by a trusted source, was a summary report by Hainan’s emergency center to the provincial government detailing accidents it responded to in July this year.

The document said a “severe heat stroke incident” occurred at the facility at 2:25 p.m. on the launch day, with six people injured. A crew of 18 medical personnel in six ambulances responded to the emergency.

The report didn’t provide details about how the people were injured, and the incident wasn’t reported by Chinese media. The Epoch Times was unable to contact the space center.

Epoch Times Photo
Hainan’s emergency center reports a “severe heat stroke incident” occurred at the spacecraft launch center at 2:25 p.m. on the launch day in Hainan Province, China, dated August 2020. (Provided to The Epoch Times)

Medical Preparations

Further documents obtained by The Epoch Times reveal that local health agencies made preparations in the event of a medical emergency during a rocket launch.

On Dec. 20, 2019, a week before the launch of a Long March-5 rocket from the Wenchang facility, the Hainan Provincial Blood Center issued an order for the province to have sufficient blood supplies from Dec. 27 to Dec. 29, in anticipation of the event.

The Chinese regime doesn’t allow private firms or other organizations to collect blood, a task that is managed solely by local government-run blood centers.

In detail, the Hainan blood center requested 1,000 units of type A and B blood, which means 200,000 milliliters (423 pints). For type O and AB, the center asked for 1,500 units (634 pints) and 300 units (127 pints).

For the rarest blood type, Rh Null, the center also requested emergency reserves. In total, the center requested 4,010 units, which is 802,000 milliliters (1,695 pints).

Epoch Times Photo
The Hainan Provincial Blood Center issues an order for the province to have sufficient blood supplies from Dec. 27 to Dec. 29, in anticipation of a rocket launch in the province, dated Dec. 20, 2019. (Provided to The Epoch Times)

According to the Hainan government’s official website, the province needs about 30 metric tons (64,563 pints) of blood for medical purposes each year for its 9.4 million residents, which would amount to an average of about 176.9 pints per day.

The center stated that if blood supplies fell below required levels, emergency blood collection must be implemented in the whole province. It further noted that if reserves fell by 30 percent, the provincial government should issue a media alert asking citizens to donate blood.

If supplies are depleted by 70 percent, the center would organize soldiers, university students, and government officials to give blood, the notice stated.

Epoch Times Photo
China’s heavy-lift Long March 5 rocket blasts off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Center in southern China’s Hainan Province on Dec. 27, 2019. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

A local hospital, the Ding’an People’s Hospital, issued a document on Dec. 21, 2019, requesting that due to the rocket launch, all departments must ensure their emergency rescue equipment and devices were working properly from Dec. 27 to 29. Also, all experienced medical staff were instructed not to leave the county.

During these three days, the hospital ordered two ambulances with two working teams to be on standby 24 hours a day. The working team included doctors, nurses, and drivers.

The blood center and the hospital declined to comment to The Epoch Times about their procedures in advance of a rocket launch.

China, which has five space launch centers, is no stranger to launch failures.

So far this year, China has had 35 orbital launches, at least four of which failed, according to public records.

Most recently, on Sept. 12, the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia failed to launch a Kuaizhou 1A rocket, losing the Jilin-1 Gaofen-02C satellite that the rocket was carrying.