A traffic accident in east China that left the driver of a fruit truck seriously injured also sparked a looting frenzy as dozens of people raced to gather up the vehicle’s spilled cargo.
The incident happened on Friday in the city of Dezhou, Shandong province, when the truck, which was carrying about five tonnes of peaches, collided with a car, news website Dzwww reported.
A video of the aftermath of the crash showed the looters filling boxes and bags with the fruit as police tried to bring the situation under control.
Officer Sun Shouqiang said that although most of the looters dispersed when the police arrived, others were aggrieved at being told that what they were doing was wrong.
“Officers asked them not to get involved in the accident and to leave, but about 10 women continued to steal the peaches,” he said.
In the video footage a woman asks: “Did I break the law?” to which an officer replies that she had.
“Then why weren’t they [the looters] detained?” the woman said.
Under Chinese law anyone found guilty of looting faces up to 15 days in detention and a 1,000 yuan (US$146) fine. The report did not say if any of the looters would face charges.
It also did not elaborate on the condition of the truck driver or say if anyone else was injured in the accident.
The incident in Dezhou was the latest in a spate of lootings involving vehicles shedding their loads.
Last month, police in Luoyang, Henan province, had to disperse a crowd of people who rushed to collect tomatoes that had spilled from a truck, while in July, officers in Zhangjiajie, Hunan province, had to deal with a similar incident involving watermelons.