China Red Cross helps to comfort survivors of brutal knife killings

Publicado: 3 marzo 2014 9:55 CET

By Francis Markus, IFRC

The Red Cross Society of China provided help and emotional support for survivors after a knife attack that left at least 29 people dead and more than 140 wounded at a busy railway station in Kunming, capital of the southwestern province of Yunnan.

The attack took place late on Saturday, when a group carrying long knives started slashing indiscriminately at waiting passengers and those lining up at ticket windows, sending terrified bystanders fleeing into nearby shops and restaurants to escape the carnage.

Volunteers deployed

The society’s Yunnan branch deployed more than 50 volunteers to help mobilise blood donations for the injured and appealed for more local residents to give blood.

Over 1,000 people have so far responded to the request. One young donor, Zhou Fei, said he saw the shocking news on the Internet and wanted to help. “There is not so much I can do to help the injured people but donate my blood so they can be healed soon,” he said.

The Red Cross is also appealing for cash donations from the Chinese public to help the families of those who died in the attack.

Meanwhile a 30-strong team was being coordinated to provide support to those affected by the violence.

“All of our psychosocial support emergency teams have assembled, ready to provide comfort and psychosocial support to the relatives of victims, the injured people and those still in shock,” said Red Cross Society of China Vice President Wang Haijing. The teams are also setting up a psychosocial hotline.

Wang arrived in Kunming with a special team from society’s headquarters to reinforce provincial volunteers and staff. Among their missions is to work with media to help promote peace and nonviolence, which is one of the main goals of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.

The effort  marks the first time that the National Society has found itself responding to an incident of this kind.