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Market hero injured as he saves falling boy

By Ke Jiayun and Zhao Wen   (Shanghai Daily)

09:38, July 02, 2013

A market worker saved the life of a five-year-old boy by catching him as he fell from the fourth floor of a residential building in Shanghai's Baoshan District yesterday morning.

It was the third accident involving children in the city in the past two days, raising concerns over their safety during the summer vacation.

Also yesterday, an eight-year-old boy was feared drowned when he fell into a river in the Pudong New Area while he was catching crabs. His body hadn't been found by night.

And on Sunday, two sisters, aged five and seven, fell to their deaths from a 13th-floor apartment in Pudong.

At around 8:20am yesterday, Wang Jianzhong, 59, a warehouse keeper at a wholesale market, said he heard a loud cry from a fellow worker and rushed to a nearby building where he saw the little boy hanging from a fourth-floor window and about to fall.

Wang quickly stretched out his arms to catch the boy. Video from a surveillance camera showed the five-year-old, weighing around 20 kilograms, crash into Wang's arms and both fall to the ground together.

Wang was taken to the No. 3 People's Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University's School of Medicine while the boy underwent surgery for jaw injuries at Changhai Hospital.

Tang Zhen, the boy's doctor, said he had suffered fractures to his jaw and cheek bones. After surgery, Tang said that the boy was in a stable condition but he was being checked for injuries to his skull and brain.

Wang, who was also said to be in a stable condition, suffered nerve damage in his neck and his right arm was numb. He had also twisted his right ankle, the hospital said. Despite his discomfort, he was more worried about the boy's condition while receiving treatment, the hospital said.

According to witnesses, the boy had been left in a locked room while his parents attended to their fruit stall at the wholesale market.

The couple, from central China's Henan Province, rushed to the hospital when they heard the news. The boy's mother told the Oriental Morning Post that she was so grateful to Wang for saving the life of her son.

She said she had left the boy at home as it was the first day of summer vacation.

The sisters in Sunday's tragedy had also been left home alone by their parents, both migrant workers from Anhui Province.

The boy who is believed to have drowned yesterday is the son of migrant workers, also from Anhui Province. The family have lived in Shanghai for at least seven years.

Last year, 56 primary, middle and high school students died of unnatural causes in Shanghai, according to a Shanghai Youth Protection Committee report.

Drowning was the cause of death in almost half of the cases and most incidents were in suburban areas where students went swimming in rivers.

In recent years, the number of accidental deaths of migrant children has been increasing as they are often left unattended while their parents work.

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