Heroes from Everyday Life >> Meng Tai

Meng Tai was born in Hebei Province in 1898 and was a steel worker from Anshan City in the northeastern province of Liaoning at the time of China's Liberation in 1949. His diligence, hard-work and innovative ideas impressed and inspired his colleagues.

During the Korean War (1950-1953), Meng volunteered to guard the factory which was near the Korean border. He would sleep in the blast-furnace so as to be able to take prompt action in case of air strikes by the US army. Later when relations with the Soviet Union cooled and Soviet experts left China, Meng mastered the techniques of smelting and casting to ensure the factory could continue production.

In August 1950, the factory's No.4 Blast Furnace exploded and Meng risked his life to switch off the water cooling system and in the process saved many of his colleagues' lives. In another accident Meng smothered a furnace fire with a pile of wet sacks. He was dubbed the "Old Hero" by his colleagues.

In 1950, Meng was named a "National Model Worker". He won the accolade of "National Advanced Producer" in 1956 and 1959. Meng died of illness exacerbated by overwork in September 1967.