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HK Hero Volunteer Died in Qinghai Recommended for Bravery Medal

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A volunteer from Hong Kong who lost his life on Wednesday when rescuing others in the earthquake- hit Qinghai Province of China, has been recommended for a gold medal for bravery at home, local authority said on Friday.

Wong Fu-wing, a 46-year-old volunteer, escaped from the earthquake on Wednesday morning but returned to rescue the trapped orphans and teachers in the orphanage where he worked in Yushu county of Qinghai province. He was critically injured by falling debris in a powerful aftershock.

Tsang Tak-sing, Secretary for Home Affairs Bureau of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, said on Friday that Wong has been recommended for the Medal for Bravery of Hong Kong.

The Medal for Bravery (Gold), created in 1997, is the first rank in the Order of the Medal for Bravery, awarded for acts of gallantry of the greatest possible heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger.

Chief Secretary Hengry Tang Ying-yen said Thursday that Wong's selfless sacrifice deserved the highest respect and expressed condolences to his family.

Wong's family members departed from Hong Kong to the disaster zone of Qinghai province on Thursday to collect his remains. An officer from Hong Kong's Beijing Office was heading to Qinghai on Friday to meet Wong's family and assist local authorities. The Immigration Department of Hong Kong has offered help to the deceased's family members in Hong Kong.

The death toll climbed to 1,144 and another 417 people remained missing as of 5:00 PM Friday, after a devastating earthquake shook a Tibetan area in northwest China's Qinghai Province.

The 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which shook the Yushu County in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu at 7:49 AM Wednesday, has left 11,744 people injured, including 1,192 serious cases.

(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2010)

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