Parents who lost their sole offspring in the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan province have begun to receive government compensation payouts of around US$144 each, the Wall Street Journal reported. The payments are standard practice under China’s one-child policy but they are generally only intended for distribution when parents reach the age of 60. Nevertheless, this appears to have done little to appease anger at substandard construction of schools in the quake area, which is believed to have been responsible for the loss of many young lives. Government officials have said further compensation will likely be forthcoming once the extent of human negligence has been established. More than 69,000 people are confirmed dead in the earthquake. It also destroyed nearly 7,000 schoolrooms and dormitory rooms. Meanwhile, soldiers were searching the earthquake area on Monday for the wreckage of a military helicopter that crashed as it attempted to carry injured quake survivors to safety.
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