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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Grandmother gave her life to save 4 children

The 69 year old Cai Xiaonu might seem old and slow to most of her fellow villagers in an isolated village in southern China, but when four children were drowning in a river, she jumped into the water even faster than her 12-year-old grandson.

Cai Xiaonu drowned as she tried to save four drowning children in central Henan Province last Friday, and her selfless act touched thousands of netizens.

The heroic grandmother jumped into the Tuanhe River without hesitation and rescued three kids but failed to save the fourth as she lost her strength and went under.

Her funeral early Monday morning attracted hundreds of villagers to mourn and pay their respects in Neixiang County in the city of Nanyang.

Word of her noble act traveled well beyond the city and county, as nearly 20,000 netizens expressed their condolences to her on Sina Weibo, a twitter-like service. They praised her as "the most beautiful grandma."

"Cai is the most beautiful old woman I have ever met. We will never forget her," said Weibo member "Xia Feng," who has written a poem in Cai's honor.

The accident happened around a broken bridge over the river. Four children fell into the water when Cai was about to leave after washing clothes on the river's bank.

"We were playing games while Grandma Cai was washing her clothes beside us. Suddenly, one of us fell into the water. We tried to pull her out, but we fell into the river too," said Pang Yanzhao, one of the surviving children. "We would have died if not for Grandma Cai," she sighed.

The local government pronounced Grandma Cai a "hero," an honor shared mostly by soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country. The local government has also sent Cai's family a pension of 3,000 yuan (470 U.S. dollars).

This was not the first accident that occurred around the broken bridge. Several children have fallen into the river here in recent years. Things have become worse after the bridge was destroyed by floods last year.

"The government should be responsible for the accident," another Weibo user said.h A spokesman with the local government said they had made a plan to rebuild the bridge last year. The construction work is set to be launched after this year's flood season.

It is very touching to read about this good samaritan's selfless act. Not many people are willing to give up their lives or risk their lives to save other souls. May Cai Xiaonu rest in peace and your good deed will always be remembered.