CHINA / SOCIETY
Chinese netizens concerned over slow rescue at US condo ruins, compare emergency responses of two countries
Published: Jun 29, 2021 05:00 PM
A screenshot taken from a video released by the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue on June 25, 2021 shows first responders rescuing survivors from a partially collapsed residential building in Miami-Dade County, Florida, the United States.(Photo: Xinhua)

A screenshot taken from a video released by the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue on June 25, 2021 shows first responders rescuing survivors from a partially collapsed residential building in Miami-Dade County, Florida, the United States.(Photo: Xinhua)

The death toll in the partially collapsed Florida condominium tower has reached 11 with 150 people still missing on the fourth day after the incident occurred. The tragedy has grasped the hearts of the international community with many Chinese netizens expressing condolences and criticizing the sloppiness in US emergency rescue work. 

Search-and-rescue teams pulled two more sets of remains from the concrete and steel rubbles on Monday, bringing the death toll to 11 with 150 people still listed as missing after four days, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Part of the Champlain Towers South condo in the town of Surfside, near Miami, abruptly crumbled into a heap early on Thursday while residents were sleeping.

Many Chinese netizens expressed condolences to the victims' family and some questioned why the rescue work was so slow. 

US media reported that families of those who are still missing felt frustrated with the pace of rescue efforts. In meetings with the authorities, the family members repeatedly pushed rescuers to do more. 

Some Chinese netizens have also commented that the slow rescue work exposes the loopholes of the US emergency rescue system and shows how the US treats lives with indifference. Many of them remembered the rescue work of the Hurricane Katrina, in which Director Michael Brown of the Federal Emergency Management Agency dispatched 1,000 Homeland Security workers into the region five hours after a landslide.

Some netizens compared the rescue pace of China and the US during accidents, urging the US authorities to take effective measures to save lives and conduct an immediate investigation into what caused the tragedy and who is responsible as soon as possible.

For example, in a recent gas explosion accident in Shiyan, Central China's Hubei Province, more than 2,000 personnel including government workers, soldiers and firefighters, together with large equipment and life detection instruments were quickly deployed to the site. The accident happened around 6:40 am on June 13, and by afternoon on the same day, 12 victims had been found dead with 37 others seriously injured. On June 14 afternoon, 13 more bodies were found in the debris. On June 18, the local government released investigation results - misconduct of a local gas company was the cause of the explosion - and announced that eight people responsible for the tragedy were detained.

Chinese netizens prayed for victims of the incident and urged local authorities to take it as a warning against potential similar accidents.

"China will also face the problem of reviewing and scrapping large number of old and dangerous buildings in the following decades. It will not be a small problem if it may affect 1.4 billion people," one netizen named "ningxiaoyan" said.

Compared with China, which usually spares no resources in emergency rescue work, the US doesn't have "limitless taxpayers' money" for an emergency rescue, the netizen wrote.

However, some US media implied that Chinese people and media are paying too much attention to the Florida tragedy. In response, netizens urged the US to focus on the rescue work and digging into the reasons behind the tragedy, rather than questioning the international community's concerns.

Global Times  
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