Influencers trying to ‘save more lives’ busted for stealing rescue boats

A group of wannabe celebrities have clashed with rescuers after they allegedly stole an inflatable boat to film for online content at a flood-hit city in China.

The country's central Henan province has been engulfed by severe flooding after the region was hit by heavy rainfall last month.

About 50 people remain missing and the death toll has risen sharply to at least 302, officials confirmed.

Video widely shared on Chinese social media shows four Douyin influencers being confronted by a group of rescuers who accused them of stealing the resources.

The group equip themselves with life jackets as one man explaining to his followers: "Hi fam, we are here at Xinxiang city, one of the worse-hit areas in the province.

"See the water has reached to this height and we will go further down to search for more survivors."

In a cutaway scene, a group of rescuers in blue tops stop the influencers and call them "liars".

One man shouts at them: "Saving people? The rescue boat is in place here and you guys stole it. Where do you guys think you can go?"

The leader of the rescue team told local media that the influencers' selfish actions had wasted them four hours of search time in the operation.

He said in a phone interview: "This afternoon two of our rescue boats went missing and we spent hours searching for it.

"We're extremely angry. When we found them, the boats were damaged in many places."

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Viewers were infuriated and blasted the influencers for their "barbaric" behaviours.

One said: "Influencers? I hate seeing them to do these shows just to get more likes. Stealing is illegal!"

Another wrote: "A group of barbarians! They are not there to save lives, they are there for online exposure, these people are disgusting."

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