China train crash dead get beauty treatment

August 3rd, 2011 - 1:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 3 (IANS) As a high-speed train crash in China recently left everyone overwhelmed, a team of mortuary cosmeticians is ensuring that its victims depart from this world with dignity, Xinhua reports.

Xu Kangfei, 52, with his apprentice and two other cosmeticians has been working in the Wenzhou Funeral Home since last Monday.

The most complicated part of their work is restoring the shape of head and facial features of those who suffered grievous injuries.

Xu was scrupulously combing the messy hair of a young woman, whose body was lying on the mortuary slab with a serene expression on her face.

“I want to make it as neat as shown on her photo — she has beautiful pitch-black long hair,” said Xu, a mortuary cosmetician who is responsible for cleaning, embalming and putting make-up on the bodies of the victims of Saturday’s high-speed train collision before cremation.

The woman, Mu Linan, was a stewardess on train D301, which rammed into train D3115 near Wenzhou in east Zhejiang province July 23.

Xu tenderly cleaned her wounds on the body and head, and then applied foundation and blush on her face.

“It’s the ultimate respect to the deceased and the ultimate comfort for their families,” Xu said. “No matter how difficult it is, we are trying our best to satisfy all.”

“Besides the major injuries, even a slight scratch must also be carefully dealt with,” Xu said.

Despite his 27 years of professional experience, Xu was still overwhelmed when he saw the decomposed bodies of the train crash victims for the first time. His apprentice, 21-year-old Ji Shuohong nearly fell unconcious.

On Thursday, they spent a whole day repairing the head wounds of a 16-year-old boy in accordance with the photo provided by his parents. After their job was done, the parents looked at their boy for a while and then put a coin-filled piggy bank beside his body.

A family of three killed in the crash touched the cosmeticians most.

“When their bodies were discovered in a crushed carriage, rescuers found the father still tightly embracing his son. Their bodies were only parted after being taken to the funeral home,” Xu said.

“I dressed the four-year-old boy in a red sport suit, once his best clothes. I also put blush on his face to make him look healthy,” he said.

The train crash left 40 dead and 191 injured.

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