Thursday, 20. November 2014
07. 07. 14. - 16:00
Thirty two people have been injured including 28 who are still in hospital after an arsonist poured paint thinner on the floor and set it alight creating the inferno within seconds.
A video clip taken from the buses CCTV camera and released by Chinese police shows the man sitting on the bus and then suddenly leaning to the floor where he apparently tips the liquid out. At this point, other passengers become aware of what is happening but are unable to escape before he ignites it with a lighter, creating a fire that quickly spreads across the whole bus.
Police said that the man himself was the most seriously injured as he was trapped between the wall of the bus and the entrance by the blaze that engulfed the No.7 line bus carrying 80 people at a crossing between Dongpo Road and Qingchun Road in the city of Hangzhou, in China's Zhejiang Province.
Police spokesman De Chuang said: "We are still trying to investigate the motive but we suspect terrorism. According to the CCTV images the man got on the bus at the Lingyin Temple bus station shortly before the afternoon rush hour. We still do not know his identity and at the moment he's too badly hurt to question."
Lingyin Temple is a famous tourist attraction in the scenic city, known for its picturesque West Lake. Investigators said that many of the passengers aboard the bus were tourists from five provinces and cities outside Hangzhou. There were also three children among the injured.
Police said that the injuries could have been more severe but people who ran from the bus in flames was saved by motorists who grabbed extinguishers to stop their clothing burning, and then to help extinguish the blaze before fireman arrived.
Some of those in nearby cars also smashed windows on the bus to help people get out. Police said of the 28 in hospital 24 had been seriously hurt.
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