Flood victims' families to get US$18,200 each
SHALAN, Ning'an: The families of school children killed by last Friday's devastating flood in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province are to receive 150,000 yuan (US$18,200) compensation, a local government spokesman announced last night.
According to spokesman Wang Tongtang, 10 students are still missing, and the death toll could rise further as previously unreported deaths are recorded.
Xue Lingguo, whose eight-year-old daughter was killed, said the official head count didn't include his daughter because the couple buried her on their own.
He estimated at least 10 more children killed in the flood had not yet been included in the official count.
Meanwhile, the search for the missing continued yesterday.
More than 4,500 military personnel from nearby counties, helped by sniffer dogs, joined the effort.
Power was restored yesterday but clean water remained cut off. The rescue team headquarters dispensed bottled water to residents.
Also yesterday, there were conflicting reports about the two people initially held responsible for the tragedy.
Huang Mingjun and Li Zuoyu, respectively the Party secretary of Shalan and the chief of its police station, were released from custody yesterday, according to a local official in charge of search co-ordination.
But Jing Dianyuan, executive vice-mayor of Mudanjiang, told China Daily an investigation was still going on and that the two, who were accused of negligence, remain in custody.