To take refuge from the cold, 5 children die in trash bin

Guizhou province, southwest of China: In the city of Bijie a scavenger discovers 5 corpses between 7 and 13 years of age. They slept in the trash near a construction site to avoid the night chill and was presumed to die of carbon monoxide poisoning. According to a publicity official from the city government, the reason of their death is still under investigation.

5 vagrant children found dead in trash bin

Seen from the pictures on Weibo, China’s biggest microblogging site, the trash bin near a construction site is about 1.5 meters high and 1.3 meters wide.

Extracted from China Daily 11/19/2012 :

An elderly woman who picks up trash found the victims, who were around the age of 10, in the trash bin, Beijing News reported. Police have ruled out foul play, the report quoted an anonymous publicity official as saying.

The report said the temperature reached a low of 6 C on Thursday night.

The children had been living near the trash bin in a shelter they built using plastic tarpaulin,cement blocks and plywood, Li quoted residents who lived nearby as saying.

Ma Li, director of a rescue center for homeless children in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, said thechildren may have eaten food they found in the trash bin and died from food poisoning.

Li said the tragedy exposed an unresolved dilemma in the government’s rescue work forvagrant children.

“Rescue centers don’t have a long-term effective way to help these children as they can onlyprovide food and shelter for a maximum of 10 days. After that, the rescue centers are requiredto send these children home,” he said.

Most vagrant children don’t want to go home as they have bad relationships with their parentsand may be victims of domestic violence, he said.

“For this reason, many children shy away from rescue centers and feel reluctant to seek help,”he said.

The civil affairs department and rescue centers hand out blankets and padded coats during thewinter to the homeless, but more needs to be done, he said.

The government should work out a new mechanism that encourages NGOs, schools andindividuals to participate in helping vagrants, he urged.