GUANGZHOU: A Good Samaritan who helped haul six people from a wreckage after an auto accident here recently is also helping to save the reputation of foreigners in this southern city.
A Guangzhou foundation wants to honor the mysterious stranger after he dragged the six from beneath a deluge of cement bags but it has so far been unable to find him.
The man, who is black, is believed to be from overseas, said Liu Jisheng, secretary-general of the foundation. He said the organization wants to give the man a certificate and reward thanking him for his heroism. But the man, who left the scene of the accident after making sure those he helped were OK, disappeared back into the night, according to local reports.
Liu said the man joined local citizens in helping at the scene of the accident on Monday at around midnight.
Some of those involved said the man may have been attending the ongoing China Import and Export Fair, known as the Canton Fair.
A young Chinese woman, who may have been a translator, was accompanying him. The man was bald and muscular and wore jeans and a white shirt, a witness said.
"We are deeply impressed by his behavior. But he left after saving the buried people, without saying a word," the witness said.
"He will be rewarded for his righteous behavior if the report proves true," said Liu.
If the man is traced and given the Guangzhou foundation's certificate and reward, he will become the first foreigner to be so honored in the city, Liu said.
The case follows a difficult time in the city recently during which local authorities have tightened security checks on foreigners as the southern city prepares for next year's Asian Games. Commentators said the story has helped change the attitude of some locals toward foreigners.
"We thank the black man for his honorable behavior. Foreigners have become an important part of the community," said Xie Li, a white-collar worker in the city.
In the past, some locals have complained that foreigners in the city have overstayed their visas and been involved in minor crime.
"But this man's story tells us another side of foreigners, which deserves our respect," Xie said.
In another case, on Aug 24, four Nigerians helped a businesswoman catch a robber on a bus in the city, the Guangzhou Daily reported.