By Zhang Jianhua, Wang Shan
VIENTIANE, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- After 13 Chinese nationals were killed and 31 others injured in a tourist bus crash near northern Lao town of Luang Prabang on Monday, Lao Chinese and overseas Chinese volunteers from various walks of life in Laos have spontaneously participated in the rescue and care work for the victims, acting just like "family members".
"Our country is really strong, and we Chinese people are truly united. During these days, countless overseas Chinese come to visit us. We have received your kind and round-the-clock care, your constant encouragement, and your thoughtful consideration of our needs. You make us feel like a family. Thank you so much for having you here," said one injured, holding the hand of a volunteer.
"We belong to one family, and all Chinese belong to one family. We are your relatives overseas, so taking care of you is what we should do," said a young volunteer from Overseas Chinese Aid Service Center of Vientiane Charity Chamber, whose words moved even the Lao doctors present.
Vientiane Charity Chamber is a Lao Chinese charity and welfare institution in Laos, which was awarded the honorary title of "Overseas Chinese Service Center" in 2015.
During the victims' treatment in the hospital, many Chinese and overseas Chinese visited the wounded, and donated various materials. When volunteers asked for their names, they all waved their hands and just left words like "if anything else needed, please let us know."
Ran, a Chinese businessman in Saravan in southern Laos, was travelling to Mouang Xay in Northern Laos when he heard that type AB blood was in urgent need for the injured. Ran stopped a passing-by engineering truck and rushed to the hospital at Luang Prabang where the injured were treated to donate blood on Tuesday.
After arriving at the hospital, he was informed that the blood was no longer in urgent need as many Chinese compatriots had already donated it. At that time most of the injured were transferred to the Lao People's Army 103 Central Hospital in Vientiane, and Ran immediately went to Vientiane by car that very night, and joined the volunteer group of food delivery.
Among those who had donated blood before Ran, was 57-year-old worker named Duan Xiaoping, an employee from China Railway No.8 Engineering Group Co., Ltd. working on China-Laos railway in Luang Prabang. During blood donation activity carried out by the project management, Duan Xiaoping went to blood station and donated 400ml when he knew that type AB blood was in urgent need, which won many likes from his Wechat friends.
The wounded, especially the seriously injured, were successively transported from Luang Prabang by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA)'s Peace Train medical team to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Nearly 100 Chinese people who have lived and worked in Laos for years organized a volunteer group to undertake various volunteer services in Vientiane.
Outside the inpatient building of the 103 hospital, a striking "8·19 liaison office" banner was temporarily hung over the gate, where volunteers gathered to receive and assign tasks. Yi Fan, a volunteer who worked there for several days, told the victim families: "we will not leave until you get back home safely. You can always find us and we're always here."
Over the last days, no matter in Luang Prabang or Vientiane, all the wounded interviewed by Xinhua would mention these volunteers, "We are quite grateful to have them here, we don't even have to worry about the food and clothing, just relax and recover."
Yao bin, President of the Lao Chinese general chamber of commerce, arranged lunch and dinner for the injured, their families and related staff every day, with more than 120 meals prepared every day.
"I hope my compatriots who are in trouble abroad can have healthy home-cooked food here and feel at home," said Yao.
Many other Chinese restaurants also lined up in the volunteer group to serve, or brought food directly to the injured, families and volunteers. The food delivery volunteers would arrive at the restaurant at 6:30 a.m. to pack breakfast and take them to the hospital, making sure these food were still warm when arrived.
Zheng Hong, vice President of the Lao Chinese general chamber of commerce, sent suits to each wounded person for their everyday clothing after knowing that their luggage were not around. Many other Chinese and overseas Chinese have also sent cloth shoes, socks and other necessities according to their feet sizes.
A group of volunteers dressed in yellow, shuttling through the inpatient building, serving day and night as interpreters, escorts, and food dispensers, were led by Chen Yifen, director of the Overseas Chinese Service Center of Vientiane Charity Center.
As the last five injured boarded on the Saturday flight back to China, all 31 injured Chinese in the road accident in northern Laos have flown back. During the rescue, the words "we are family" from the Lao Chinese is simple but powerful. They devoted themselves to all kinds of donations and voluntary activities as "family members", expressing their deep feelings of compatriots from all over the world.