After a Fatal Fire at Xinjian Village, Beijing, the incident triggered a citywide campaign to remove tenant living in such “unsafe” housing facilities.They had no choice then but to leave Beijing.

A fire broke out on the night of November 18 at a three-story apartment at Xinjian Village of Daxing District, a southern suburb of the city. A total of 19 people died.

The incident triggered a citywide campaign to remove people living in such “unsafe” housing facilities, which was seen as a method to control the city’s population. Most of those people were migrant workers who mainly work in low-end industries including delivering and garment.

The official explanation was to eliminate safety hazards in crowded apartments and warehouses where house many migrants to prevent tragedies like the fatal fire.

In spite of freezing coldness in the winter, a number of migrant residents were required to remove soon. Many of them had no other choice then but to leave Beijing for their hometown.

Village ruins

The marine ball is scattered everywhere in the empty village supermarket. 

Part-time security guards, also migrant workers, were hired by the local government in Xihongmen Township, Daxing District, to prevent people from accessing the ruins

A couple from Hebei moved away from Xinjian Village

A restaurant’s owners are moving out on November 21 when many apartments have become ruins in only three days after the fire

A child in front of a shop once belonging to his family, waiting for leaving

A migrant worker who had lived in Xinjian Village for years stands at the ruins where his house was located

A villager shows a video clip, in which a man who commits suicide by jumping off a building because all of his property, a factory which was worth nearly one million yuan (about 153,000 U.S. dollars), was going to go up in smoke.

A migrant worker from Hebei Province returns a key to his landlord on November 25

A Beijing local who once rented his house to migrant workers stands in front of apartment on November 25 2017. A room was usually divided into two booths with an area of seven square meters respectively on average, and an apartment usually has at least ten rooms. After the fire, the government banned such apartment to rent.

A tenant carries a water pot through uncleaned garbage dump to find drinking water on November 25. After the fire, the supply of water and electricity was stopped at one time.After the fire, the supply of water and electricity was stopped at one time, and gradually restored after a large number of tenants had been left.

The apartment which was on fire was monitored and separated in case that anyone enters in the area, with a sign on the baffle as a reminder

A couple from Liaocheng, east China’s Shandong Province, is packaging their stuff on December 9. They once lived on selling heating coal to their neighbors. After the fire, with their clients gone, they lost source of income as well as the normal life for themselves, because their container-turned room was cut of its water and electricity.

A migrant worker from central China’s Henan Province is ready to leave by motorcycle with all of his belongs on November 25. He said that people like him was not welcomed by Beijing any more. He wouldn’t come to Beijing again.

Migrant construction workers who were officially hired to build up a cement wall to separate ruins from villagers in Xinjian Village

An empty house in Xinjian Village with three Chinese characters on the wall literally meaning “having gone home”

Migrant workers who were officially hired to build up a cement wall to separate ruins from villagers in Xinjian Village

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