“97 people” at the first announcement by the authorities, “322 people” the next day
Suspicion of concealment was raised at the time of the rubber band announcement
Investigation team “Evacuation orders are not issued in time”
It was later revealed that authorities in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China, which suffered the worst water turbulence, including the unprecedented ‘drowning in a subway car’ accident in July of last year, intentionally delayed reporting or concealing the 139 deaths and missing persons. As a result, many people related to the party, including Xurii, 58, Zhengzhou Party Secretary, who is considered to be a close aide to President Xi Jinping, were reprimanded, and An Wei, 56, was appointed as the new Zhengzhou Party secretary.
According to the state-run Xinhua News Agency on the 23rd, the Disaster Investigation Team of the State Council published the ‘Henan Zhengzhou July 20 Heavy Rain Damage Investigation Report’ on the 21st, revealing the process of concealing the loss of life by the Zhengzhou authorities. At that time, 617mm of rain fell in the Zhengzhou area, equivalent to the total amount of precipitation in one year, and at least 390 people died or went missing. In the Zhengzhou subway, water suddenly rushed in while the vehicle was stopped in a tunnel, killing 14 passengers trapped in the carriage.
In the first announcement immediately after the torrential rain, authorities said 97 people were killed or missing. However, in the announcement the next day, it was announced that the number had increased to 322, and since then, suspicions of cover-up have been raised. The investigation team pointed out that Zhengzhou and nearby local governments tried to delay or cover up reports of deaths and missing persons and failed to issue evacuation orders in time. In particular, during the on-site inspection of Prime Minister Li Keqiang a month later, the authorities did not report the truth even though they had identified 12 new victims.
As a result of the investigation, 89 public officials, including former secretary Xu, were reprimanded. He is classified as a member of the ‘Zhijiang New Army’, which was formed when President Xi served as party secretary in Zhejiang Province. Some have suggested that Xi had “cut off his tail” in order to protect Xi’s other aide, Lou Yangsheng (63), Henan Party Secretary-General.
Beijing = Correspondent Ki-yong Kim [email protected]