Avalanche victims compensated 150,000 yuan
FAMILIES of a couple who died in an avalanche while touring Southwest China's Yunnan Province last Wednesday will get 150,000 yuan (US$19,480) each in compensation.
The amount of the award was reached after days of negotiations with the local government, Xinhua news agency said today.
The government of Deqen County where the accident happened agreed to give 120,000 yuan to the victims' families. An insurance company will pay the victims 30,000 yuan each, the report said.
The avalanche occurred in a scenic spot of the Meili Snow Mountain, in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan at about 3pm on May 3, the third day of the week-long holiday.
Xu Ya, 33, and her husband Hu Dongjun, 35, from East China's Jiangsu Province died in the accident. Seven other travelers were injured but are reported to be in a stable condition.
In previous reports, the local government had refused to consider an offer of compensations for the dead as the avalanche was an "unpreventable natural disaster" and the victims went into undeveloped areas by themselves.
The travelers should have known the risks they would take if they went to these areas, the authority said, Xinhua reported.
The remarks sparkled disputes later as survivors of the accident revealed that they had seen no warning signs all along their way to the scenic areas. They also argued that the scenic spot authorities should be responsible for visitors' safety once they bought tickets.
The local tourism authority was also accused of not having professional rescue teams available in the event of an accident. The survivors said they had to do the rescue work all by themselves after the avalanche hit.
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