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Workers fired after refusing to refuel ambulance

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-28 19:58

WUHAN - Two gas station workers in Central China's Hubei province have been fired for refusing to refuel an ambulance carrying a critically injured patient.

The two workers at Jinguoping gas station under China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) in Jinguoping township, Badong county, refused to refuel the ambulance when it arrived at the station at 9:10 pm Friday.

They said the station was closed. The ambulance was carrying Chen Qianjun, a local villager who fell while building his own house and sustained serious injuries, from his village to the prefecture hospital, located a three- to four-hour drive from the village.

The driver of the ambulance had to purchase fuel at a higher price from a private dealer. The search for fuel took more than an hour, and Chen died on the way to the hospital at 1:05 am the next day.

The news quickly went viral, with netizens criticizing the workers' indifference to the emergency vehicle.

"We feel deeply shocked and sorry," said Lyu Dapeng, a spokesman for Sinopec.

Saving lives is the first priority in all circumstances, and their refusal to refuel an ambulance is inexcusable, he added.

A source with Hubei Oil Products Company, a Sinopec subsidiary, said the company will look into the case and hold relevant people accountable.

The company will also strengthen staff orientation and management to prevent such incidents from happening in the future, according to the source.

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