5 Chinese Boys Trying to Escape Cold Found Dead in Dumpster

The trashcan in which the 5 boys were found dead.

The trashcan in which the 5 boys were found dead.

From NetEase:

5 Homeless Boys in Guizhou Bijie Suspected Suffocating to Death After Hiding in Dumpster to Escape the Cold


According to Beijing News, on the morning of the 16th, 5 unidentified boys were found dead in a dumpster in the urban area of Guizhou Province Bijie City. Guizhou police have begun investigations. As of when this news was released last night [November 17], authorities still haven’t revealed the identities or the cause of death for the deceased. According to preliminary analyses, the 5 children may have died of “suffocation” after hiding in the dumpster to escape the cold.

According to an official of the Bijie Propaganda Department, the person who first found the 5 deceased is an old scavenger woman. The incident happened on the Huandong Road sidewalk in Bijie City’s Qixingguan District, which is less than 100 meters away from the Liucangqiao [sub-district] Office.

The trashcan in which the 5 boys were found dead.

The trashcan in which the 5 boys were found dead.

According to the photos posted by netizens, the dumpster in which the incident happened has a green base with a white lid, is about a man’s height, length about 1.5 meters, and the width about 1.3 meters, the white lid capable of sealing the opening.

This reporter learned from the Bijie Municipal Party Committee Propaganda Department that the 5 deceased boys were of different ages, but were all around 10 years old. A relevant person involved indicate that because the police is currently getting in touch with the Education Department and family members [of the deceased], the specific identities of the deceased are still unknown right now, as well as why they were in the trashcan.

The official of the Propaganda Department mentioned above also revealed that the bodies of the deceased have already been sent to Bijie City morgue. An investigation group assembled together by police from both the province and the city has begun the investigation. According to the preliminary information at hand, the possibility of a homicide has been ruled out.

The shed which the 5 boys built out of scraps.

According to a description by a witness who has been to the scene, next to the dumpster in which the incident happened is a demolition site. “These Children built a shed by the demolition site’s surrounding wall, using some plastic tarpaulins with advertisements printed on them, cement bricks, and three-ply boards, and had lived in it for days”.

Nearby residents say they saw some children find an old ball from within the dumpster, playing with it within the enclosed wall.

According to a preliminary analysis, the 5 children may have “suffocated to death” hiding in the dumpster to escape the cold. The specific cause of death is expected to be made public by the police within days.

Bijie City is located in the northwest of Guizhou Province, where there are many mountains, and is about 200 kilometers from the provincial capital Guiyang City. On November 15, the lowest air temperature was 6℃ [43℉], and it had drizzled during that night that day.

Comments from NetEase:

qqf55 [网易浙江省杭州市网友]:

“The homes of the rich reek of meat and wine, while frozen bodies lie by the roadside.” It has been a thousand years [since this poem was written by Du Fu], yet we haven’t progressed at all.

奶头事业 [网易安徽省合肥市网友]:

After seeing this news, I’m truly very (speechless). Is this the Xiaokang future?

ysm860929 [网易新西兰网友]:

Rest in peace, children.
Next time during reincarnation, please don’t choose hard mode again.

网易广东省河源市网友 ip:121.14.*.*:

If you [government officials] just drink one less bottle of Maotai, how many homeless children can you help?

网易山东省青岛市网友 ip:221.3.*.*: (responding to above)

Must abolish the dual pension scheme.

奶头事业 [网易安徽省合肥市网友]:

The weather is getting cold. Just how many more of street urchins in different areas are going to suffer the same tragic consequences when night comes?
I hope every local authority will attach importance to this kind of thing. Thank you.

rochechen [网易北京市手机网友]:

China’s per capita income in the world ranking:
78th in 1960,
82nd in 1970,
94th in 1980,
105th in 1990,
106th in 2008,
127th in 2010.

China’s GDP in the world ranking:
15th in 1978,
10th in 1990,
7th in 1995,
6th in 2000,
4th in 2007,
2nd in 2010.

Investment in education:
Average public education investment in the world is 5.1% of GNP,
Developed countries is 5.3%,
Sub-Saharan African countries is 4.6%,
India is 3.5%,
The least developed countries are 3.3%,
China is 2.3%.

In 2002, China’s national investment in public financial budget in sex education was 3.41% of its GNP,
In 2003, it was 3.28%,
In 2004, it was 2.7%,
Less and less by the year.

China, which makes up 1/5th of the world’s population receiving education, only makes up 1.5% of the world’s total expenditures on education;
The United States has 200 million people, with educational expenditures of 700 billion USD,
China has 1.3 billion people, with educational expenditures of 40 billion.

Ever since 2003, the less economically developed country of Kenya has overcome one difficulty after another, unprecedentedly implementing true completely free education, where students don’t need to pay any money for books, tuition, and educational supplies. Following Kenya, some other countries have also carried out free elementary education, such as Malawi, Lesotho, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, etc. 2/3rds of African countries have educational expenditures exceeding 4% of their GNPs.

Investment in healthcare:
China’s public health expenditures makes up 4.5% of its GNP,
The minimum investment standard established by the WTO is 5%,
Among the world’s 191 countries, [China] is ranked 188th (4th from the bottom),
OECD is 8.4%,
The United States is 13.9%,
Switzerland is 13.9%.
China’s investments in education and healthcare can’t even match one of the poorest countries in the world—-Uganda!!!

网易天津市网友 ip:113.31.*.*: (responding to above)

I’m living in a Chinese fairy tale.

有修养的演员 [网易山西省运城市网友]:

Perhaps it’s a release/escape [for the dead children, from China]!

ksharplee [网易浙江省金华市网友]:

They are all children, children! What should I say!! Is this what a tragic world is like?!

内阁总理大臣李鸿章 [网易山东省济南市网友]:

Are you happy?
Experts claim China has become one of the intermediate developed countries of the world
2012 November 12, China News.

An update on Sina Weibo:

@头条新闻: Guizhou Police Claim The 5 Boys in Dumpster Died of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: On the 16th, 5 boys in Guizhou Bijie were found dead in a dumpster on a Qixingguan District sidewalk. According to a preliminary investigation by the police, the 5 boys died of carbon monoxide intoxication while making a fire to warm themselves in the dumpster. Up to now, 3 of the children have been identified, they’re locals of Qixingguan District, the investigation for the identities of the other 2 children is still ongoing.

The shed and the trashcan.

Comments from Sina Weibo:


So poor and so horrible! The Chinese modern version of The Little Match Girl! [We, our country] Must establish an aid system to prevent something like this from ever happening again!


Only investigating after they’ve died. Would there be such a tragedy if [people] helped the kids find their homes while they were still alive?


How could five children have been reduced to making a fire in a dumpster for warmth without anyone caring about them, and only now that they’ve died does everybody come out to investigate. Fuck, what a society. Stop donating money every day to this impoverished country or that impoverished country, and all without requiring them to pay it back. Fucking first save our own country’s children. Wait until the day our own country’s children’s food and clothing problems are solved, their education ensured, and then go help others.


Since they’re locals, the possibility of them being homeless children is unlikely, so maybe they’re just naughty kids. Waiting patiently for their family members to come out and clarify!


[3 of them are] locals of Qixingguan District!! They’re urban kids, and there are 5 of them. What exactly do their parents do, for their children to be wandering around like this, in such cold weather, without [their parents] caring about it? Just letting them freeze to death like this, you’ll get what’s coming for this.


Forcing children on cold nights to make a fire in a dumpster for warmth, that is the negligence and shame of each and every one of us adults.


Been wandering/homeless for days… the last moment of your lives, all this country gave you was apathy…[蜡烛][蜡烛][蜡烛]


This news is so not harmonious.


This reason is much more scientific than the suffocation theory at the beginning, is in accord with the Scientific Development Concept. Rest in peace, children, it’ll no longer be cold in heaven.


I praise you, my country, don’t block my weibo commentary. [雪][雪][雪][雪][雪][泪]

Another update from Sina:

4 of the 5 Boys Who Died of Suffocation in Guizhou were Dropouts & Runaways


This reporter learned from Bijie City Hall that from the 16th to 18th, by scouring the neighborhood, the identities of the 5 boys have been confirmed. They live in Qingxingguan District Haizijie County Caqiangyan Village, their names are Tao Zhongjing (12), Tao Zhonghong (11), Tao Zhonglin (13), Tao Chong (12), and Tao Bo (9). The police have confirmed that they died of carbon monoxide poisoning from making a fire in the dumpster.

Tao Jinyou, father of the deceased boy Tao Zhonglin, told reporters that the 5 boys had not returned ever since they met to go play 3 weeks ago, during which parents and teachers had gone looking for them in Haizijie County and Qixingguan urban area many times, and that it wasn’t until they received the call from police did they learn that the children were dead. According to Tao Yuanwu, father of the deceased boys Tao Chong and Tao Bo, 4 of the 5 children were considered dropouts from school, and even though teachers had repeatedly encouraged them, they refused to go to school with the reason that “[our] grades are not good, don’t want to go to school”. The 5 boys always hung out together, and sometimes wouldn’t return home for days, with the local police having had to take them home multiple times in the past. At present, the 5 deceased boys’ funerals have been appropriately arranged.

A representative of the Bijie Municipal Party Committee & City Hall expressed that they are saddened by the deaths of the 5 boys, and that this incident has revealed many weak links in Bijie’s city’s social administration, social aid, ensuring schooling and controlling dropouts, etc. Bijie will learn from this lesson, expand and improve its proactive aid mechanisms, strengthen school management, and earnestly focus on helping homeless and left-behind children.

Meanwhile, Bijie Municipal Party Committee & City Hall have severely punished relevant departments and personals that are administratively responsible for this incident. After consideration, Bijie Municipal Party Committee has decided, Tang Xingquan and Gao Shoujun, Deputy Heads of District who are in charge of civil affairs and education of Qixingguan District, are to be suspended from work while the case is being investigated, meanwhile, they’ll be investigated by higher authorities. After consideration, Qixingguan District Committee has decided that these personals shall be suspended from work: Zhang Yi, Secretary of Party Committee of District Education Bureau. Jiao Zhonghua, Secretary of Party Committee of District Bureau of Civil Affairs. Mu Yuanxing, Deputy Secretary of Party Committee of Haizijie County. And submit through legal process to suspend these three personals from their duties as Director of Education Bureau, Director of Bureau of Civil Affairs, and Mayor of Haizijie County. And submit through legal process to suspend Liu Hongxi from his work as the Deputy Mayor of Haizijie County. And oblige Party Committee of Haizijie County to suspend Wu Kangqin for her work as the principal of Haizijie County Center School, suspend Zhou Wang from his work as the principal of Caqiangyan Village Elementary School.

Comments from Sina Weibo:


3 weeks ago! Weren’t these parents worried?!


This response by the government is obviously because they’re freaked out by the public opinion. But to tell the truth, I think as guardians, the parents must bear the most responsibility.


Now that more people are paying attention [to this story], “homeless [boys]” has becomes “[boys] hanging out”, so now the government has no reason to help them, and perhaps it’s not only responsibility they’re avoiding?


Doesn’t make sense! Several children around the age of 10, not returning home for three weeks, yet not a word of calling the police has been mentioned in the news. Not calling the police, is this normal? I’m afraid there’s something that can’t be revealed to the public here? (Don’t ask me, I don’t know.)


Are they family that they the same surname? How could parents like them allow their children to go out and play and go 3 weeks without calling the police to search for them? Responsibility…


What about the parents? Obviously it’s a problem with the parents, a problem that the irresponsible parents should be held accountable for.


This time the public relation handling of the government is very gei li.[给力]


If what is being reported is all the truth, then it is the parents who are primarily responsible. Also, let’s ask ourselves: If you saw some children on the street unaccompanied by adults, would you call the police?


The thuggish/gangster downstairs in my apartment has stolen things, been in fights, and even beaten someone to death. It’s one thing to be a failure and not a good person… but to have the media embellish and dramatize this, getting all of society to shed tears for them… Would decent kids run away from home and play with fire on the street?


In the end, it is the system that is the biggest problem.

November 21 UPDATE: The following microblog post was a trending post today, having been forwarded and shared nearly 50k times with over 13k comments…

@凯迪网络: 【凯迪网友李元龙:毕节五个孩子闷死垃圾箱前一两天的照片】这是孩子闷死垃圾箱前一两天,一位路人用手机,在毕节学院路段地下通道阶梯上照的。这里距离孩子出事的地点,也就百把米。这很可能是五个孩子来到人世间,留下的唯一一张图片”>KDNet Netizen Li Yuanlong: Photo of the 5 Bijie Children Just A Few Days Before They Suffocated in the Dumpster: This was just one or two days before the children suffocated to death in the dumpster, taken by a passerby using a mobile phone on the steps of the pedestrian tunnel on a section of Bijie College Road. This was just hundreds of meters away from where the children died. This may very well be the very last photograph that these children left of their time in this world.

Possibly the last photograph of the group of 5 Chinese children who died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a dumpster trying to escape the cold.


Written by Peter Barefoot

Peter is a born and raised Chengdunese who enjoys drinking with all his friends.


Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.