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Officials chopped after kids found dead

By Liu Linlin (Global Times)

14:38, November 21, 2012

Eight officials in Bijie, Guizhou Province, were suspended or sacked after five boys were found dead in a large trash container on Friday, city authorities said on Tuesday.

The five victims were identified by local police as being siblings and cousins, the eldest named as 13-year-old Tao Zhonglin and the youngest 9-year-old Tao Bo. They started a fire to warm themselves up inside the trash container in Bijie's Qixingguan district but died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The deputy chiefs of Qixingguan district, Tang Xingquan and Gao Shoujun, were suspended and investigated. Six more officials from the education and civil affairs bureaus have been fired after the tragic accident.

The deaths stirred up debate as to why governments are not giving more support to abandoned or left-behind children.

Bijie's spokesperson said that the city will improve both its school management and its social aid to children in need.

"Kids like the Tao cousins are quite common in Guizhou Province. The parents of many children are migrant workers. The children are left at home with their grandparents or sometimes without anyone to look after them," Tian Jie, Guizhou program director for Dishui Charity Association, told the Global Times.

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