Han Han on the Shanghai Fire

China Geeks has translated Han Han’s blog post, written after he watched the devastating building fire in Shanghai which killed 79 people:

The reasons for this disaster are poor fire prevention [standards] and the baffling renovations, but I expect the reason for the renovation was beautification, saving energy, [etc.] Residential buildings aren’t as good as office buildings and the fire safety equipment inside is not perfect; wouldn’t it be better to fully renovate the inside of the building [i.e., update the fire safety equipment, etc.] rather than beautify its outside?

Finally, I’ve discovered that before every important gathering, there are fireworks, but after every important meeting, there is a disastrous fire. After the Olympics, the CCTV Hotel burned; after the Expo, a big apartment building burned. The latter was worse; the media is now reporting that 12 people died [this number is old, the death toll is now above 50], but from what I saw, when the firefighters enter the building and finish their search tomorrow morning, that number will certainly rise. There are those who say that after a disaster, we should do our best to provide relief, to help the grieving, and shouldn’t go searching for answers or make statements [about the disaster], it’s not the right time for that. But if you don’t question things, it just becomes an act-of-God natural disaster, the officials seize the opportunity and harmonize the media, and in the end it becomes a way for them to congratulate themselves on their own success. This has already become a constant. You can’t take out your anger that there is no answer on those who are asking the questions. So, what is your question?

Han Han also posted several photos of the fire here.

November 17, 2010 11:17 PM
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Categories: Politics, Society