Three Communist Party members died in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province on Monday of protecting military equipment and saving maintenance personnel in a devastating typhoon, with an expert suggesting their spirit showed the reason for China's rapid naval development.
Huang Qun, a member of a Communist Party of China (CPC) committee at the company's Institute 760, and the institute's deputy director, as well as Song Yuecai, the project leader, and Jiang Kaibin, the lead electromechanical engineer, drowned after they were thrown into the ocean by massive waves, according to a statement released by the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation on Thursday.
Led by Huang, a team of 12 Party members went to the institute's port during Typhoon Rumbia to protect an experimental platform and four maintenance personnel working on the platform in Dalian on Monday.
The cables holding the platform were broken by strong waves. The platform was about to capsize.
The team successfully reinforced the cables to stabilize the platform, but three died despite attempts to rescue them after they fell into the ocean, the statement said.
Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Thursday that the tragedy "shows the loyalty and love people in the Chinese military industry have for their country, that they would value their research over their own lives to make a selfless contribution to the country."
China still flows with the traditional spirit back in the "two bombs, one satellite" project days of the 1960s, in which many Chinese researchers willingly sacrificed their lives to help the Chinese military grow, he noted.
The experimental platform is a boost to China's shipbuilding capability in terms of multiple core technologies, the statement said.
The company paid tribute to the three at a meeting on Tuesday, and vowed to strive to build a world-class navy.
The Chinese navy is developing at an astounding speed within short decades, which could not be achieved without this kind of spirit, Song Zhongping said.