The Chinese New Year got off to a bad start at a state-run nursing home for the elderly in Yongfeng township in Hunan Province in central China, as a worker attacked several elderly people, killing three and injuring 15.
Just prior to the attack, the 64-year-old nursing home worker, named as Luo Renchu, had apparently been in an argument with his employer over unpaid wages of 40,000 yuan ($6,500).
It all began with what the official Xinhua news agency, citing local authorities, dubbed as a “brawl.” The worker fought with his boss, 48-year-old Fang Hongchun, and then went on a rampage in the care facility on the first day of the Chinese New Year.
JUST IN: Lunar New Year attack in China leaves 3 dead. A nursing home worker in central China went on a… http://t.co/88lte0KUHh
— AsiaOne (@sphasiaone) February 19, 2015
According to the New York Times, after the fight with Fang, Luo then “randomly attacked elderly people and staff at the nursing home” using a brick as a weapon. This resulted in the death of three elderly people while a further 15 people were injured in the care facility.
According to Xinhua, Luo is now on the run and local police are in pursuit. The 15 people injured, most of whom received head injuries, included elderly residents, as well as the mother and brother of the nursing home’s owner. According to the police, six of the injured are in a life-threatening condition.
This isn’t the first time a tragedy of this nature has occurred over non-payment of wages. According to the Nation, 11 nursing home residents in northeastern China burned to death in July 2013 after an employee set the building on fire over unpaid money.
11 die in nursing home attack: A squabble over $32 led a nursing home resident to set the building on fire, ki… http://t.co/v1cdfDQyo3
— T.J. Lazo (@tjlazo) July 28, 2013
Apparently, social tensions are rising in China in the last few years over the widening income gap in the country as well as abuses of power. Often disputes over trifling issues escalate into serious incidents such as the current attack.
There have also been a series of attacks in schools in the last few years. Five of these incidents in 2010 killed 17 people — with 15 being children — and injured over 80 persons. In another attack outside a school in Shanghai, China, back in March 2013, a man killed two of his own relatives and then attacked 11 people, including six children.
On the subject of the Chinese New Year but in a lighter vein, the Inquisitr has recently published some fun facts on the traditions of the holiday.
[Image: CC by-SA 4.0 Tony Webster]