While a road accident has just killed three motorists and emergency services are still getting to the site, passengers nearby have left their cars and sat down around a little table for a game of cards.


According to the daily, China News, this peculiar scene unfolded Oct. 3 in Luoyang, in the Henan province. The accident killed three people, wounded seven others and blocked traffic for more than two hours.

Blogger Qin Jianzhong, translated by Zonaeuropa, voiced his indignation over this turn of events.

"We can't ask all the passengers to take part in the rescue, because it's necessary to be qualified. We can't ask all the passengers to cry, because they do not have any bond with the victims. But decency requires that you don't entertain yourself on a spot where others are dying.

"It's not the first time that Chinese citizens have amused themselves on a scene of death and devastation. When people are about to throw themselves off the top of a building, a crowd gathers on the street. Often, they play music and even yell, "Jump, jump," when they get impatient. After the earthquake in Sichuan, I saw people playing mahjong in a tent. The Chinese adore being spectators at bloody scenes."

It's a callousness that is not unique to China however. On Sept. 27, in Derby, Britain, a 27-year-old man fell to his death from the top of a multi-storey building as onlookers shouted "jump". Would an onlooker have yelled, "Until you rebound?"

Behind the players...