The student who poisoned three classmates with toxic thallium
nitrate expressed his deep regrets for the crime and profusely
apologized to his victims, Xuzhou police said yesterday.
Chang, a student at the China University of Mining and
Technology (CUMT), in Xuzhou City of Jiangsu Province, was arrested on June 12. He
soon confessed to having carried out the premeditated poisoning. At
first, he planned to use mercury but veered towards thallium after
hearing of a girl poisoned by the compound at Tsinghua University
with no culprit found after 12 years. He decided to use thallium
instead of mercury since "people know little about this substance,"
Xuzhou police said citing Chang's confession.
He purchased 250 grams of thallium nitrate online from a
chemical plant in southwest China's Sichuan Province on May 22, costing 2 yuan per
gram. He then laced the drinking cups of three classmates with
around 2ml of thallium.
The three students, one in a hospital in Shijiazhuang, capital
of Hebei Province, and another two in Beijing Chaoyang Hospital,
are all reported to be in stable condition. The Beijing Morning
Post revealed that the two students in Beijing received
acupuncture treatment yesterday, to help their body functions to
Zhu Dunru, a professor from Chemical Technology College of
Nanjing University of Technology, sought to blame venal businesses,
saying that "although thallium is a strictly-regulated dangerous
chemical, some enterprises may ignore the law when pursing economic
interests," the report said.
Zhang Zanning, director of the Southeast University's Institute
of Law of Sanitation, pointed the finger at the slack supervision
of dangerous chemicals in related enterprises, angrily denouncing
them as seeing "laws and regulations are all empty lines to them.
If a single department had done its duty, the suspect would not
have been able to get hold of the poison."
Xuzhou police reported that an investigation team is currently
in Sichuan to uncover details of the thallium sale to Chang.
The revised Safety Administration Regulations for Hazardous
Chemicals passed in 1992 laid out the rules for the production,
marketing, storage, transportation of highly toxic substances.
Furthermore, they stipulate the legal obligations of the
departments of public security, industry and commerce, rail and
The CUMT campus has slowly come back to normal now, the closed
canteen the only testament to the tragedy that happened there. A
university publicity official remarked that the canteen was closed
for further health tests.
Reactions from the students spoke of shock and surprise. "He was
introverted and not talkative, he seemed to have little to do with
his classmates," according to a freshman from Xuhai College, where
A publicity official of the university commented that "the
student went unnoticed among thousands of his peers."
Chen Jianguo, associate chief physician at the Nanjing Brain
Hospital's department of medical psychology, studied Chang's
behavior and declared it to be rooted in an illness, not some kind
of mental barrier. He analyzed that Chang's mental state gave him
poor social skills and paranoia, thinking that others were
intentionally isolating him. This kind of prolonged behavior could
eventually lead to loneliness and to violent reactions.
(China.org.cn by staff reporter Zhang Yunxing, June 22, 2007)