Video Credit: AsiaWire
This video – seen nearly three million times – shows a restaurant staff member stomping on the tail of a squealing rat which fell on a young customer’s head before biting her.
The incident took place at Wanda Plaza which is owned by one of China’s richest men, the real estate tycoon Wang Jianlin, who also holds a 15-percent stake in Spanish football club Atletico Madrid.
Customer Ms Zhang, 22, was seated underneath an exposed ventilation shaft when the rodent guest fell on her head at a hugely popular Wanda Plaza shopping complex in the city of Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi Province in north-western China, on 9th November.
It happened inside a restaurant named Jin Chang Wang, which like neighbour businesses does not have ceiling boards and instead has exposed vents and pipes above patrons seated below.
On the day of the incident, the rat reportedly fell straight onto Ms Zhang’s head and then bit the screaming woman’s scalp before jumping off.
Video filmed by other customers shows a staff member catching the squealing rat by stomping on its tail and pinning it down using a broom.
Ms Zhang recalled: “I’m personally very, very afraid of rats. I’m even terrified of hamsters.
“I was petrified when it fell on my head. I never imagined this could happen at such a big shopping centre.
“I thought I’d be safe here.”
The Shaanxi provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that Ms Zhang had category III rabies exposure, which the World Health Organization describes as transdermal bites or scratches and exposure to animal saliva through broken skin.
It is the most severe of three exposure categories.
Ms Zhang, who was given shots and put on a course of antibiotics, said she was still locked in negotiations with the restaurant which she claims refuses to pay her the damages she has demanded.
She said: “I requested 10,000 RMB (1,10 GBP) in compensation. This includes medical fees and mental damages.
“They only agreed to pay 2,000 RMB (220 GBP). They said anything above 1,000 RMB (110 GBP) was already considered extortion.”
At the time of the report, a restaurant spokesperson announced they had dismissed the manager who led unsuccessful talks with Ms Zhang.
They said they would come up with a new compensation deal and, after satisfying Ms Zhang, take up their case with Wanda Plaza, which they feel should be held partly responsible for its restaurant space design.
Peng Wentao, general manager of the Xi’an Lijiacun Wanda Plaza, said they had apologised to Ms Zhang, and that they would follow up with her condition and ensure similar accidents do not happen in the future.
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