Migrant worker taped to train floor, dies

When a Chinese train passenger started panicking on board, staff taped him to the floor. Ten hours later, he died. Read more...


When a Chinese train passenger started panicking on board, staff taped him to the floor. Ten hours later, he died.

Web users are taking on the case of Cao Dahuo, a migrant worker who was taped to the floor of a train for ten hours before he died. Fellow passengers who sympathised with the 30-year-old factory worker have posted testimonies of the incident online (excerpts translated from Chinese to English here). They say that when Cao began having a panic attack, the train manager got staff to attach him to the floor with duct tape.

Cao was originally from Renhuai, Guizhou Province, in the centre of the country. He was working in Guangzhou, in the southwest, when one of his friends says he became "mentally disturbed". It was decided that his friends would take him on the 34-hour trip home on the 1291 train. But the husband and father of two never made it. His body was offloaded in Laibin station, Guangxi province, on 25 September.

Amongst others, two bloggers posted their testimonies on Tan Renwei, a journalist from the Southern Metropolis Daily, contacted both Cheng Zhunqiang and Mr Huang to verify their stories. Both gave the same account:

Cao seemed to be anxious and started talking loudly and then shouting as though he wanted to get off the train. Passengers demanded that the train policeman ask the manager if he could be tied down. The train manager arrived with a role of duct tape and several staff and attached Cao by wrapping tape around his shoulders, chest, legs and ankles. When he managed to struggle partially free, the train manager then applied tape to his wrists and more to his ankles. Despite constant requests to be released, Cao spent the entire night bound on the floor.

At 9am, the train manager arrived again to apply more tape. Cheng objected, saying it was painful and that Cao was harmless. But the train manager refused, saying that Cao might jump out of the train window. When Cao became quiet and still, Cheng went to fetch the train manager for help. But he wouldn't come, and said that it was his responsibility if anything happened. Although Cheng went to cut the tapes and comfort Cao, the latter was unable to drink water and died soon after.

When Cao's body was offloaded Cheng Zhunqiang got off the train too and noticed that the health officials had written on admin papers "seriously ill patient". Believing that the paramedics were trying to change the story in order to aid the train manager, Cheng shouted at them that a dead man could not be a sick man, and it was changed.

The train company offered the victim's family 120,000 Yuan (around €13,000) in compensation, which they accepted. Cheng Zhunqiang put the family in contact with a lawyer in Beijing but it hasn't been decided whether they'll pursue the case. The train manager has been suspended.


Cao's body offloaded at Laibin station, Guangxi province. Photos posted on the Tianya forum by Mr Huang, who says he regrets not taking photos when Cao was bound.