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Subway construction overseer admits reporter roughed up

Subway construction overseer admits reporter roughed up

Write: Shakira [2011-05-26]

A subway construction site overseer has admitted workers accosted a Legal Mirror reporter during an interview Tuesday and offered compensation to cover the man's medical treatment and broken camera.

A water pipe burst at a subway Line 7 construction site near the crossroads of Guangqu Lu and West Dawang Lu in Chaoyang district Wednesday afternoon. Water spurting about 20 meters into the air caused traffic congestion but did not affect nearby residents' water supplies, according to a Beijing Morning Post report Wednesday.

Zhang Yingchuan, a Legal Mirror reporter, went to the site for photos and interviews and was allegedly attacked by seven construction workers who took away his camera and cell phone, Legal Mirror reported Wednesday.

The workers first denied having grabbed Zhang's camera and cell phone when police arrived, Zhang Zhu, a Legal Mirror editor, wrote on his microblog Wednesday.

Eventually they admitted to having beaten the reporter and apologized late Tuesday evening, Zhang Zhu told the Global Times.

The construction site returned Zhang Yingchuan's camera, but it was broken and missing its memory card. They refused to return the cell phone until 10 pm after being repeatedly questioned by police.

The workers had tried to "persuade" Zhang to stop taking photos, and did not "attack" him, according to the overseer of the site surnamed Leng, the Legal Mirror report said.

Zhang Yingchuan could not be reached by phone Wednesday.

Several media department employees with the China Railway 19 Bureau Group Corporation, which is responsible for the construction, told the Global Times Wednesday they were not aware of the matter.

Pipe repairs by emergency staff from the Beijing Waterworks Group have been completed, and the cause of the rupture is under investigation, the report said.

"The burst happened at our construction site, so it's impossible that we have nothing to do with it," Leng admitted to the Legal Mirror.