Nanjing residents rush to donate blood after blast

08:40, July 29, 2010      

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After hearing of the deadly pipeline blast and noticing urgent calls on the Internet for blood donors to come forward, Hua Peijuan decided to make a contribution.

Hua, 26, a teacher who just returned home from Beijing on Wednesday morning, went to Gulou Hospital straight after lunch.

To her disappointment, the hospital did not accept blood donations and suggested that she go to the nearest mobile station.

When she arrived in front of the Dayang Department Store in downtown Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, at about 2 pm, there were long queues of volunteers, mostly young people, waiting to donate blood.

It was about 4:30 pm by the time Hua finished, though the procedure itself only took 10 minutes to draw 200cc of blood.

"There are many beautiful people donating their blood today," the Nanjing native wrote on her micro-blog at sina.com, where tens of thousands of posts called on people to assist the injured.

Despite the sizzling heat, residents in Nanjing are doing everything they can help the rescue effort following the blast.

Immediately after the explosion, local taxi drivers stepped forward to help transport the injured to six designated hospitals.

Upon hearing news of the blast, many car owners also rushed to the site to offer their assistance.

Receiving so many patients at the same time, some of the hospitals were reported to have run out of blood for transfusions.

In response, local health authorities dispatched extra blood collection vehicles to the downtown area, which is close to the hospitals treating the injured.

At each location, volunteers waited in long lines under the hot sun to give blood.

"On a summer afternoon, which is usually a slow time for blood donations in the city, our vehicle would usually receive about 10 donors, but the number today has already surpassed 100 and is still rising," a health worker based at the Drum Tower Square said at 3 pm.

To ensure an adequate supply of blood for patients, the working day was extended from 5:30 pm into the night, she noted.

Local residents, tourists and college students all rolled up their sleeves to donate blood.

Sun Peng, who works as a salesman at Five Star Home Appliances, which is close to the accident site, said more than 50 of his colleagues had volunteered to donate blood.

By Song Wenwei and Shan Juan, China Daily

(Editor:梁军)

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