About 2,000 angry people mob hospital in China after boy dies

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Associated Press

BEIJING -- At least 10 people were injured when an angry mob stormed a hospital in southwest China where a young boy died after his grandfather was sent away to raise money for the child's treatment, a human rights organization said Sunday.

The boy, who was about 3 years old, became sick after inadvertently swallowing farm chemicals. Doctors at the facility in Sichuan province told his grandfather to raise more money for his treatment, the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said in a faxed statement.

When the grandfather returned to the Guang'an City No. 2 People's Hospital, the boy had died, the center said. It was not immediately clear if any effort was made to treat the child.

Residents demanded the hospital take responsibility and about 2,000 gathered there Friday and clashed with police, leaving at least 10 people injured, the rights group said. Authorities detained five people.

According to a local telephone operator, the demonstrators smashed windows and equipment and the six-story hospital was forced to close because doctors could not work amid the wreckage. They also burned three police vans, she said.

On Sunday, armed police were patrolling Guang'an and roadblocks had been set up, said the operator who refused to give her name.

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