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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Man dies saving mother, kids

By An Baijie and Xiang Mingchao  (China Daily)

14:10, February 01, 2012

ZHENGZHOU - The local government is trying to appease the grief-stricken family of a 58-year-old villager in Central China's Henan province after he lost his life saving three people who fell into a cold river on Jan 17.

Li Guoxi, a man from Quzhuang village in Henan, got off his electric bicycle and jumped into the water immediately after seeing a woman with two children fall in a river on the afternoon of Jan 17, said Deng Jianxin, an eyewitness who is from the same village as Li.

"He was in such a hurry to save the people that he even had no time to take off his clothes before jumping into the 3-meter-deep water," Deng told China Daily on Tuesday.

Zhang Jingfeng, 41, the woman saved by Li, said she was riding an electric bicycle carrying her daughter and 8-year-old son when the bike hit a stone on a bridge and lost balance, causing it to swerve into the freezing water.

"It was raining at that time, and the road was slippery," Zhang said. "I felt helpless as I was falling over."

Li pushed Zhang and her son to the riverbank and got back to save Zhang's daughter later. "He pushed my daughter with his hands at first and then pushed her with his head," Zhang said. "After saving all of us for more than 20 minutes, he was out of strength and floated motionless in the water."

Deng Xinliang, Zhang's husband, told China Daily that he felt "deeply moved" by the brave actions Li took to save his wife and children.

"Living in such a society with kind-hearted people like Li makes me feel safe," he said.

Nearly 3,000 people went to Li's funeral to pay their respects, and the local government also expressed condolences to Li's family members and gave them money and food for Spring Festival, said Zhao Yongjun, head of the publicity department of Suiping county, where Quzhuang village lies.

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