Mother Told Children to Lie About Rescuer to Avoid Liability

Nearby villagers give accounts of the situation when the incident occurred.
The broken railing at the site of the incident has already been repaired.
The broken railing at the site of the incident has already been repaired.

From NetEase:

University Student Drowns Saving 2 Children, Parent Tells Child to Lie Fearing Blame

@河南商报: Mother of Rescued Child: Afraid of Being Blamed, Coaches Child to Lie — This early morning at a bit past 1am, the mother of a child who had fallen into water admitted in an interview that because she was afraid of being blamed, she had taught her child to lie. At the time, she had taken three children to play by the artificial lake, but because the guardrail around the lake being loose, two of the children had fallen in. When they cried for help, nearby Meng Ruipeng heard and came running and jumped into the water to save them. (Henan Business Daily reporter Xu Fangfang)

Recently, news about a “University Student Drowns Saving Children Fallen into Water” captured many eyeballs, with people praising the college students’ heroics and regretting his drowning.

Yesterday, another version of this story attracted attention, with media reporting that local police stating in interviews that Meng Ruipeng had not drowned saving the children but had accidentally fallen into the water himself.

With regards to this, Meng Ruipeng’s family and schoolmates proclaimed that they “don’t want payback, only justice”, while the children who fell into the water said it was three people who had together fallen into the water that day. So just what exactly is the truth?

The Incident

Media reports “University Student Drowns Rescuing People|

On the afternoon of February 26th, at an artificial lake in [Henan province] Puyang city Qingfeng county Hancun town Xizhaolou village, someone drowned. The deceased was Meng Ruipeng, whose family lives in Qingfeng county Hancun town Mengjiaofu village, was 24 years old this year, and a third year student at the North China Irrigation Works and Hydroelectric Power University Education College.

For what reason was such a young life lost? According to a Dahe Daily report, that afternoon, two children were playing by the artificial lake when they accidentally fell into the water.

Meng Ruipeng happened to be nearby when he saw this happen, took off his clothes, and jumped into the water. Ultimately, the children were rescued, but he was never to come up again.

Meng Ruipeng is the only son of his family, whose neighbors say he was extremely thoughtful/considerate ever since he was small. After he entered university, he was also consistently at the top of his class, and even elected as an outstanding group cadre.

February 27th, @人民日报 [The People’s Daily], @头条新闻 [Headline News], @环球时报 [Global Times], and such major media rushed to publish Meng Ruipeng’s story, with tens of thousands of netizens regretting “the early death of heroes”.

To rush forward to save others without regard for one’s own safety is the instinct of the kind-hearted! May the hero rest in peace!

@腿子姐: Praise for Henan people, may this beautiful man rest in peace.

A twist:

Subsequent information claims

“The university student had fallen into the water accidentally”

Just as the entire nation’s media and netizens were praising Meng Ruipeng’s heroism, a new version of events came out.

Media reported that a Qingfeng county Hancun town police station police officer said there was no evidence that Meng Ruipeng had sacrificed his life to save others. The two children also said during interviews that the three of them had fell into the water together.

Meng Ruipeng’s paternal older female cousin Meng Xue (Weibo user @小流流_大得瑟) published a microblog post claiming that the two children’s parent had rushed to leave the scene without concern for the rescuer’s life or death! And afterward, out of fear that she would have to shoulder responsibility, kept evading and refusing to speak, refusing to acknowledge the truth of the children having been rescued!

Following which, North China Irrigation Works and Hydroelectric University’s “年华似水BBS站” [Years Flow like Water BBS Website] official microblog, using the #University Student Who Rescued Drowning Children Not Acknowledged by Parent# hashtag, published multiple microblog posts.

Currently, Meng Ruipeng’s relatives and schoolmates are proclaiming that they “don’t want payback [compensation], only justice”. The twists and turns of this “rescue incident” once again incited heated discussion among netizens.


Was it “drowned rescuing others” or “accidentally fell into the water”?

24-year-old university student Meng Ruipeng’s death has left indescribably pain for his loved ones and friends. However, the dispute over whether he had drowned in an act of heroism or had lost his own footing and fallen into the water gets more and more intense.

In fact, the description of what happened has been different between Meng Ruipeng’s family and friends and the children who fell into the water right from the beginning.

Nearby villagers give accounts of the situation when the incident occurred.
Nearby villagers give accounts of the situation when the incident occurred.


Meng Ruipeng’s family and friends:

His mobile phone and clothes are ashore; he had jumped into the water to rescue others

Meng Ruipeng’s relatives insist that Meng Ruipeng had heroically sacrificed his life. Yesterday afternoon, Meng Ruipeng’s father left home to meet with North China Irrigation and Hydroelectric University’s lawyers, in hopes of returning justice to his son.

Meng Ruipeng’s girlfriend remains stricken with grief from the lost of her lover, and it was only after this Henan Business Daily reporter repeatedly called her that she finally answered the phone.

She says, on the day the incident occurred, Meng Ruipeng had came looking for her at her home, during which he had gone to the lakeside not 50 meters away. Not long later, she received a call from someone claiming to be Hancun town police, asking “What is your relationship to Meng Ruipeng? Hurry and come to the lakeside.”

When she arrived, she only saw Rui Mengpeng’s mobile phone and clothes placed on a long bench in a pavilion by the lake. “When I went there, I didn’t see the two children’s parent.”

“If he had accidentally fell into the water, how would he have been able to put his mobile phone and clothes on the bench?” It isn’t just Rui Mengpeng’s girlfriend who questions this, Meng Xue and netizens also have this question.


Parent of the children who fell into the water:

The children were not rescued by Meng Ruipeng

With regards to Meng Ruipeng falling into the water, according to a report by Voice of China’s Newsline, the two children’s parents believe the children were not rescued by Meng Ruipeng and he was also not a hero.

According to its report, one of the children who had fell into the water said: “A man came by. He was holding a mobile phone but doing what I don’t know. He then leaned on the railing and put his foot up, causing the railing to fall down and the three of us all fell in.”

A person at the scene familiar with the incident said he heard one of the children’s parents say: If Meng Ruipeng had not put his foot on the railing, their children wouldn’t have fallen in.”

As for why Meng Ruipeng’s clothes and mobile phone are all ashore, a person familiar with the matter says one of the parents of the children who fell into the water explained that the temperature that day was not low, and that Meng Ruipeng had taken them off and placed them on the bench in the pavilion because he had felt hot.



Hope authorities will quickly determine the truth

Whether Meng Ruipeng was rescuing others or had fallen into the water, both sides sticking to their stories has incited an intense reaction from the public, with some even calling this a repeat of the Peng Yu case a number of years ago, and others claiming this incident’s ultimate aftermath will be influence “whether people will dare to rescue others in the future”.

Many netizens online support Meng Ruipeng’s family, asserting “we cannot let down our heroes”. The official microblog account of the North China Irrigation and Hydroelectric University that Meng Ruipeng attended has also made posts denouncing the parent of the children who had fallen into the water, asserting they “don’t want payback [compensation], only justice”.

However, there are also many netizens who express that the facts have yet to be ascertained clearly, so it is inappropriate to comment, and hope that the local police will quickly determine the truth, to give the deceased and those concerned with this incident an explanation of what happened.

Yesterday night at 11:30pm, an insider send this Henan Business Daily reporter a recording. In the recording, an eyewitness confirms seeing “two children first falling into the water, and not three people falling in at the same time.”


The truth of the incident “comes to light”

So was Meng Ruipeng’s death “accidentally falling in” or “an act of heroism”?

A netizen raised the “question”: There were witnesses who saw Meng Ruipeng’s jacket, mobile phone, and wallet all on the bench in the pavilion next to the lake, so if he himself had fallen into the water, why would he put his jacket, mobile phone, and wallet on the shore?

Another netizen analyzed: The two children who fell into the water were 4 and 7 years old respectively, so it is not very likely that they have been influenced by the outside world and thus their testimony’s credibility is higher.

So just what is the truth of the matter? On February 28th, Qinfeng county Public Security Bureau Political Office Deputy Director Han Zijie expressed in a media interview that “he (Meng Ruipeng) had leaned against the railing too hard, the railing suddenly broke away, and with the two children also beside him, the three of them fell into the water simultaneously.” He said because the ramifications of this matter are rather large, they will issue information bulletins through the Qingfen county county Party committee Propaganda [Public Relations] Department.

Voice of China’s Newsline reported that Hancun town police station police officer Li Yabin said there was no evidence that Meng Ruipeng rescued anyone. However, yesterday, when this Henan Business Daily reporter called Li Yabin, he said “some media has taken his words out of context, and that the incident was still being investigated.”

Yesterday afternoon, this Henan Business Daily journalist obtained information that the “information bulletin” originally planned to be released has been invalidated, that the Puyang city Public Security Bureau has become involved in the investigation. Yesterday night at 11:43pm, this Henan Business Daily learned that local Puyang police gathered local media at the scene of the incident claiming that the case has had a “major development” to be announced.

This morning at 12:45am, Puyang police announced that they have determined that Meng Ruipeng had acted to rescue others before he drowned.

Comments from NetEase:

回直 [网易广东省广州市手机网友]:

The parent of the children who were saved is totally without conscience!

1個好朋友 [网易上海市静安区网友]:

A vivid expression of the ugliness of human nature.

网易天津市手机网友 ip:60.28.*.*

Truly TM disappointing. Just what kind of parent is this? Afraid of bearing liability. In this society of China’s, when something happens, everyone from top to bottom fears being held liable.

网易江西省手机网友 ip:106.226.*.*

I suggest making the names of the family of the two who were rescued, so the family members of those who were saved and “bit the hand” that saved them that can be condemned and suffer reprisals!

null [网易北京市手机网友]:


Frankie5 [网易江苏省南京市手机网友]:

The children should be drowned and the parent shot.

网易浙江省温州市手机网友 ip:124.160.*.*

Lei Feng has died in this society.

网易英国手机网友 ip:82.132.*.*

Why rescue? Talk about bringing trouble on oneself.

T灬bag [脑洞大开]:

Rest in peace, young man!

熊喜胖熊胖编苏是我男神 [网易黑龙江省手机网友]:

Why rescue them?

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Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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