Filipino tourists lose mom after China blaze

Paterno Esmaquel II
The Filipino father and his two daughters are injured in the Tiananmen Square accident, the DFA says

TRAGIC ACCIDENT. Police cars block off the roads leading into Tiananmen Square as smoke rises into the air after a vehicle crashed in front of Tiananmen Gate in Beijing on October 28, 2013. Photo by AFP

MANILA, Philippines – The car blaze in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on Monday, October 28, turned the trip of a Filipino family into a tragedy.

The accident killed the mother of the family, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Raul Hernandez confirmed Tuesday, October 29.

The mother was initially rushed to the Beijing Hospital, but Hernandez told reporters “she eventually succumbed to her injuries.”

The father and his two daughters got injured, on the other hand. The 3 family members remain in stable condition in Tongren Hospital.

Hernandez refused to disclose the victims’ identities “in honor of their wish for privacy at this difficult time.”

The DFA spokesman earlier identified the victims as tourists. (READ: Pinay among 5 dead in Tiananmen car blaze.)

He said in a press briefing, “Our embassy has assured them of all appropriate assistance, particularly in their immediate repatriation and in the repatriation of remains of their loved one.”

ACCIDENT SCENE. Policemen walk past barriers and fire vehicles outside Tiananmen Gate in Beijing on October 28, 2013 after a vehicle crashed near the area. Photo by AFP/Ed Jones

“The embassy also continues its coordination with the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau on the matter of repatriation and the latter’s ongoing investigation into the incident,” Hernandez added.

The tragedy happened after an SUV vehicle drove along the pavement, crashed into crowds, and caught fire at the capital’s best-known and most sensitive site.

Chinese police have named two suspects from the restive far-western province of Xinjiang.

A tourist attraction, Tiananmen Square was the location of pro-democracy protests in 1989 that were violently crushed by authorities.

It is flanked by the Forbidden City, a former imperial palace that draws tourists as well. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.