A photograph of two Chinese men smiling next to the body of a car crash victim was circulated online, triggering angry reactions from netizens.
The deceased was thought to be a local homeless man. He was run over on Sept. 30 in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province. Locals had covered the corpse with a sheet.
A blogger posted a photo of the dead body that night, complaining that no one had not arrived to deal with the situation. Later, another netizen added: “Before the authorities arrived at the scene, two young men posed in front of the corpse and took a picture with big smiles.”
A reporter from Shaanxi Broadcasting Company showed the photo to local residents, and one identified the man in the black shirt as a local worker. He contacted the man by telephone.
The man told the reporter: “Since you’ve found me, there’s no point in me hiding anymore. It was my birthday that day and I was drunk. The next day when I saw that picture, I was baffled as well. I had no idea that I did such thing. I won’t try to lie or pretend that it didn’t happen. I regret what I did that day.”
He added that he had arranged for paper money worth 2,000 yuan ($327) to be burned at the scene as an offering to the dead man’s soul.
Netizens commented about the story on their microblogs, with one calling the pair “cold-blooded animals” on Sina Weibo.
Another said on Tencent: “These two men are going to be in trouble. Doing something so disrespectful to the deceased, his ghost will follow them. These two dummies know nothing about karmic retribution!”
A third added: “These two men have no human nature, no morality. Would they still take this picture if the person who died was their parent or sibling?”
Research by Hsin-Yi Lin