Pizza delivery man sent out in typhoon, dies

Pizza Hut has come under fire in China after a deliveryman reportedly died when he was sent out during last week’s typhoon Haikui which forced an estimated 374,000 people from their homes.

Last Wednesday, as the red alert typhoon slammed into Shanghai, 24-year-old Zhang Jinzhong was reportedly electrocuted after a falling tree cut through a high-tension cable.

Under water: China’s Typhoon Haikui forced an estimated 3,74,000 people out of their homes. Pic/AFP

“It was his last delivery of the night, but he never made it back home,” said a colleague. The employee claimed the local Pizza Hut manager had asked more senior employees to suspend deliveries but was rebuffed.

“Pizza Hut should take all of the responsibility for my cousin’s death,” said the victim’s cousin, Li Dongzhi. “How could they expect him to go out in such bad weather?”

According to reports, Pizza Hut, which is owned by global restaurant conglomerate Yum! Brands, has offered 600,000 yuan (Rs 52.46 lakh) to the family in compensation. The family has reportedly demanded 950,000 (Rs 83 lakh) yuan.

The company’s Beijing headquarters did not respond to a request for information. Pizza Hut managers said they had been instructed to stay silent.  

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