24 March 2019
Prayers and flowers for the victims of the 2008 earthquake. Photo:
Prayers and flowers for the victims of the 2008 earthquake. Photo:

Clashes with police mar memorial for dead schoolchildren

Parents of children who died in collapsed schoolbuildings during the massive earthquake that hit Sichuan province in 2008 clashed with police who prevented them from holding a memorial at the disaster site on Monday, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.

The violent confrontation happened after around 200 residents of Dujiangyan city tried to enter the school compound to say prayers for the victims, but were blocked by the police. One of the parents said the police had also stopped them from entering the compound last year.

Up to 278 teachers and students died in one of the secondary school buildings that collapsed during the earthquake, while another 239 people perished in another building for primary school, the report said.

Investigation later showed that the collapsed facilities were not built according to safety standards, leading some residents to call them “tofu structures”.

The parents have been asking for justice and compensation for the past six years, but to no avail, according to the newspaper.

An official ceremony was held the same day at another site chosen by the local government, with officials and residents laying flowers and observing silence for the victims, the report said.

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