Greenpeace expresses condolences to family of Dalian firefighter

Press release - 2010-07-21
Greenpeace would like to extend our condolences to the family of Zhang Liang, the firefighter who lost his life while working on oil spill clean-up operations in Dalian, Liaoning province, China.

Oil-covered hands

A letter was sent to the Dalian Fire Department expressing our sympathy and respect for Zhang Liang and those on the front lines of the clean-up effort.

Greenpeace Climate Campaign Manager Ailun Yang says, "Our planet's over-reliance on petroleum caused this tragedy. It is a sad day for those involved in the clean-up effort, and for the planet as whole. Ultimately it is we human beings who pay the price for our oil addiction."

The Greenpeace team was on the scene when Zhang Liang and his colleague jumped into the ocean to fix an underwater pump, which was heavily clogged by petroleum and debris. A sudden strong wave swept Zhang away. While his fellow workers attempted to rescue him, the heavy oil choking the water - some twenty centimeters thick at an eyeballed estimate - made any rescue effort nearly impossible. The second firefighter was eventually pulled from the ocean alive, but Zhang was not found until hours too late.

He was 25 years old.

Greenpeace calls for a revolution of our energy system, through improving energy efficiency as well as developing renewable energy resources. At the same time, we must move away from dirty fossil fuels such as oil and coal for a clean, sustainable energy future.

Other contacts:

Ailun Yang, Head of Climate and Energy
Tel:+86 10 6554 6931 ext. 106 / + 86 139 1051 4449

Fanny Lee, Communications Manager
Tel:+852 285 48357 / +852 977 26019