GUANGZHOU, Oct.21 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese toddler who was hit by two vehicles on a market street and subsequently ignored by 18 passersby died in the hospital on Friday, doctors said. Her death triggered a nationwide wave of mourning, as the incident has been closely followed by people who are concerned about a seeming lack of morality in Chinese society.
Two-year-old Wang Yue died of brain failure at the General Hospital of the Guangzhou Military Command in south China's Guangdong Province at 12:32 a.m., doctors said.
Wang had been in critical condition since she was checked in the hospital last Friday.
The girl's death ranked as the day's most popular topic on Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging site, garnering over 1.9 million posts within hours. Many microbloggers decried the apathy and cruelty of the drivers and those who walked by Wang after she was hit by the vehicles.
The public came to know Wang on Oct. 13, when a surveillance video showing her being hit by two vehicles and left to bleed on a market street in the city of Foshan was posted online.
The video shows 18 pedestrians and cyclists walking by the bleeding toddler without stopping to help. The 19th pedestrian, a migrant woman collecting trash, pulled her to the side of the street and alerted the girl's mother.
Internet users responded to the video in great number, criticizing the drivers and passersby, passing along messages calling for more "good Samaritans" and vowing to give a helping hand to anyone in need.
Many even donated money for Wang's medical treatment. Local media reported that her father received 270,100 yuan (42,468 U.S. dollars) as of Thursday. Some were offered by kindergarten students, while other donations were sent by Chinese people living in Australia and Thailand.
The incident has left many people to wonder if China's rapid economic development has had an effect on ethics and morality in the general public.
Wang Yang, a top official from Guangdong, told a high-level provincial meeting that the tragedy should be a "wake-up call" for society and that such incidents should not be allowed to occur again.
"We should look into the ugliness in ourselves with a dagger of conscience and bite the soul-searching bullet," he said.