Two-year-old Yueyue, who was run over by two vans in southern China and ignored by several passersby, has died.
A severely injured Chinese toddler has died one week after she was run over by two vans.
The plight of the two-year-old girl, nicknamed Yueyue, was ignored by passersby only to grab the attention of millions around the world.
She was hit twice by vehicles on a market street, but about a dozen people walked or rode past before a woman stopped to help.
The chilling footage of the incident in Foshan, southern China, sparked a national outpouring of grief and concern. Some argued it could have happened anywhere in the world, while others saw it as a peculiarly Chinese phenomenon or argued it epitomised moral decline and increasing selfishness in a fast-developing society.
Doctors said at the time Yueyue’s injuries were severe and warned that she was unlikely to survive.
On Friday morning the Guangzhou military district general hospital announced she had died shortly after midnight due to brain and organ failure.
“Her injuries were too severe and the treatment had no effect,” intensive care unit director Su Lei told a press conference.
Microblogs were flooded with messages of sadness and sympathy, with some users hoping that her death might prove a turning point for society.
“Yueyue has left at last. Besides the sadness, can one life get society’s ‘non-indifference’ back in return?” asked one.
“If Yueyue’s misfortune can reflect anything, I think we shall not blame the others, but examine ourselves. Maybe we walk too fast and some precious things are left on the road.”
Police have detained the drivers of both the vehicles that hit Yueyue on suspicion of causing a traffic collision, but have not said what charges they will face.
Some of those who passed by the injured girl have said they did not see her, while others have said they were too frightened to help.
Many in China have suggested that fear of extortion, rather than indifference, was to blame for people ignoring her.
The country has seen several high-profile cases where people have successfully sued passersby who helped them – claiming they caused the injuries.
Some citizens and scholars have called for a Good Samaritan law, but others have argued that the issue is a moral and social one rather than a legal problem.
Yueyue’s rescuer has been lauded as a heroine for stopping to assist her, but has gone home to the countryside after being overwhelmed by the public attention.
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