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Agency ruled liable for death of traveller
By Liu Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-03-28 23:55

A Beijing-based travel agency has been ordered to pay compensation to a South Korean father whose son was killed during his holiday in Guilin, South China.

The Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court yesterday said China San International Travel Service was liable for the death of the student, surnamed Lee.

He died from head injuries sustained in a car accident in August 2002.

The court ordered the travel company to pay 358,000 yuan (US$43,000) to Lee's father, who rented a helicopter to transfer his son to South Korea for medical treatment.

However, Lee junior lost his fight for life soon after the mercy dash.

The court said the cause of the accident was the negligence of a driver, surnamed Feng, employed by the Guilin-based Meijing Travel Agency which was contracted by Beijing-based China San International to run its tours.

"The defendant, the China San International Travel Service, was obligated to safeguard travelers' safety as the Meijing Travel Agency performed duties for it," the judgment said.

"Since the San travel service failed to discharge its obligations and resulted in casualty, the defendant had to pay the relevant compensation to cover medical, communications and funeral expenses, as well as the emotional damage of the victim's relatives," a court source said.

In another development, the four people charged after fire ravaged the Beijing-based Jingmin Hotel last June were sued yesterday at the Beijing Chaoyang District People's Court. The fire killed 12 and injured 35 guests, and caused 819,000 yuan (US$99,000) worth of "economic damage," said prosecutor sources.

The four accused, Zhang Dao-chun, Zhu Jialong, Chen Baodong and Tian Hepeng were the senior management staff overseeing a renovation project at the hotel.

However, it was found they had forged construction certificates and employed unregistered builders.

The Fire Division of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Public Security affirmed the fire was caused by welding sparks which caused flammable paint to burst into flames.

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