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The Urumqi Fire: “A Mother Desperately Threw Her One-Month-Old Baby Out of the Window”

She vainly hoped to give the child a chance of salvation. New revelations expose several major lies of China’s report on the Urumqi fire.

by Kok Bayraq

December 15, 2022

Two of the victims of the Urumqi fire. From Twitter.

In a social media video post, a Uyghur woman in East Turkistan (Xinjiang to China) complained about the tragedy her family faced during the fire in Urumqi on November 24: “My sister couldn’t get out of her unit and couldn’t escape from the fire, throwing her one-month-old baby out of the window.” Crying, she continued: “The firemen couldn’t even catch the baby. The child’s brain was broken into a hundred pieces!”

She was not alone in her statements. Many others on social media exposed several major lies in China’s press release about the incident. The authorities wrote that the building was in a low-risk area, so the building’s doors were open, and the residents could have escaped. Logically, a mother whose house is on fire would hold her baby in her arms and run away from the fire.

This mother was desperate to get herself and her child out of the building because the door was locked. Realizing that her child could not withstand the fire and smoke for long, she threw him out of the building so that he might have a chance to survive. This is the most powerful proof that China’s “the doors were open” claim is a lie.

China attributed the carnage to the weak self-defense capabilities of the residents of the building. Yet, another photo on social media shows a man clinging to the wall of a building as he climbs out of the window of his home and steps on the window edge. This scene proves that the victims had shown extraordinary skills trying to save themselves and had tried to their last resort. The windows were the only way out. That mother also threw her baby out the window as a last resort. She had not lost her mind; she had no other choice.

One of the victims who tried to escape through the windows. From Twitter.

The Chinese officials may mean that the locks on the doors to the units and corridors could have been broken, had the residents tried. The head of Uyghur Aid, Norwegian activist Abduweli Ayup, said, “This is a building where Uyghur traders live, and most of these traders have been in camps for [the last] six years. Expecting mothers and children trapped in the building to break down the locked doors is nothing more than blaming the victims for the crime.”

China has stated that ten were killed and nine were injured in the incident. The post about the baby who was thrown from the building, reads: “There were seven people in the unit, including four sisters and one brother who were taking care of my sister who just gave birth one month ago. All of them are gone because of the locked doors of the building.” And it was confirmed that five people died from the home of Khambarnisahan, who lived on the nineteenth floor. Those two units alone make for twelve casualties.

A Chinese media has reported that three floors were burned and four floors were filled with smoke. If there were no survivors in a unit on the 19th floor that was not burned by the fire, and only the smoke reached it, then it is impossible to imagine the survival of people on the three floors below who were burned. On social media, the death toll is currently 44. It looks credible, and is more than four times the official account given by China.

China also praised the firefighters, who were unable to put out the fire after three hours, for “successfully performing their duties.” When a building catches fire, it is well known that people may jump from it out of fear that they will not be saved. In firefighting, there must be a rescue device or measure for this possibility. However, the baby who was thrown from the building did not survive because the firefighters were either unprepared or made no attempt to save him.

According to reports, at the scene, Uyghur youths, such as Iminjan and Abdulla Ablet, broke into the building and rescued three children and four mothers. On their last attempt to enter, they lost consciousness due to a lack of oxygen and were taken to the hospital. This work should not have been left to them, given the many firefighters on the scene. The boys were able to save seven people without proper equipment; they had nothing more than their bravery and desire to help others. The firefighters, with their training, experience, and equipment, could perhaps have saved nearly every resident of the building if they had performed their jobs appropriately and had received adequate instructions.

A Uyghur artistic rendering of the horror of the fire. From Abduweli Ayup’s Twitter thread on the fire.

The fire brigade arrived immediately with enough manpower and equipment, but it did not act adequately. There may be two reasons for this: the excessive barriers and locks set up to prevent socializing, which restricted their movement, and the impact of propaganda portraying Uyghurs as enemies of the state and “terrorists.” This propaganda, which has been circulating for decades, may have discouraged any expression of sympathy and mercy.

Therefore, the “success” of the firefighters is just another lie.

The lies were not just about the result of the Urumqi fire but also the cause of the fire tragedy, another proof that this regime has built and maintained its existence through propaganda.

China’s false news is not news. Exposing this lie is not meant to criticize China because a regime that is burning its citizens cannot be corrected through criticism. The goal is to draw international attention to the Urumqi fire, which is one of the most tragic events in recent history, especially in the age of the Internet, where we can see its horrific images. It is also to prevent the fire from crossing the borders, because the People’s Republic of China has its dreams of world hegemony and a world dominated by the Chinese Communist Party is a word where more tragedies like the Urumqi Fire will occur.


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