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Video clip of a man burning to death sparks controversy

By Liu Wei ( Updated: 2016-04-18 16:46

Video clip of a man burning to death sparks controversy

The fire incident site. [Photo from web]

A man has come under fire for recording and posting a video of a man burning to death in a blaze in Guangdong, reported on Saturday.

The Guangdong fire station posted four threads on its Sina Weibo account criticizing the man for shooting video.

In the video, a man can be seen climbing on to a window to escape the smoke and heat caused by the fire. His screams can also be heard in the 42-second clip.

The footage attracted large number of comments, many supportive of Guangdong fire station, and more than 20 million viewers.

A user @Lovepeace0711 asked how can a person stand there and shoot a video.

@寒树依偎 said no one's death can be turned entertainment to be consumed. The person who recorded the video lacks respect of human life and ability to help someone struggling.

The purpose of the video clip has been questioned not only by internet users., a mainstream website, published an opinion piece on the incident pointing out the man recording the clip has no reason to record the victim’s helpless moments.

The opinion suggested that the video shows people's craze for novelty in an era when millions of video clips are posted online.

But some said it was too early to pass judgment.

@虎妹同学 commented: "The camera man actually can do nothing at the moment since the steel wire cannot be pulled down. It's too far to pour water to kill fire. As for calling police, maybe he's already done it before video taping. We can't jump to any conclusion before knowing the whole facts. But the camera man did not shout out for help and looks kind of indifferent."

The account of @Ken-Ng asked people to be rational, saying "the rescue was going on according to the video. If the recorder is a passerby with no ability to help the rescue efforts, maybe the best he can do is record the fact. In some accident, people are helpless. The accusation can unleash online violence as the fire station has a bigger influence on people with more followers. We need full facts."

Many of the comments after the video went viral said the fire station morally hijacked the camera man by reposting the video and judging him publicly and intensely without presenting the full facts.

On Sunday, the man who shot the video interviewed and his side of the story was heard.

According to a local broadcasting station, the man tried to pour water on the fire but he was too far and couldn't help the victim.

He also said as a construction worker, he knew he will not be able to break the security mesh on the window.

After a quick assessment, he thought all he could do was record the accident.

He said he was shaking while recording the incident.

He also said he only posted the video in a WeChat group of his old classmates, saying "Life is fragile. Wanna help but no tools. He was burned to death."

After the video went viral and was reposted by Guangdong fire station, police came to him for deposition and asked him to delete the footage, according to the man.

He also said his WeChat account has been blocked.

He said he still doesn’t know if he should or should not have shot the video. He added that there was huge pressure from the public and he might leave Guangdong if things turned ugly.

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