Two people are dead and 32 were injured when an explosive device went off in a bus, engulfing it in flames, yesterday evening in Guangzhou, reports China Daily. The fire took place on the #301 Guangzhou bus bound for Panyu at South Dunhe bus stop on Guangzhou Boulevard in Haizhu District at approximately 7:40pm.
The fire ignited so quickly that eyewitnesses say victims could not get off the bus in time. The Guangzhou Public Security Bureau said the entire bus was engulfed in flames within five minutes, causing excessive damage to the rear of the bus. The fire was eventually extinguished at 8:03pm.
Police say the fire was caused by a passenger who had brought a prohibited item on board the bus. One eyewitness told Guangzhou Daily he saw four people run out of the bus after the explosion, three of whom were on fire. Other eyewitness said two to three people on fire were rolling around on the ground trying to extinguish the flames.
Workers from a nearby furniture factory arrived and tried to put out the fire with fire extinguishers, but could not get close enough due to the heat.
A Weibo user named Johnny-Tang posted this account :
I was there at the #301 Guangzhou bus incident, and yet I don’t know what to say; all I can say is that it was too terrifying. I escaped with my life. At the time, I had gotten onboard and swiped my card when a man suddenly yelled out, “Fire! Somebody is setting a fire!” I couldn’t see clearly, but I followed everyone in getting off the bus. Just one meter away after leaving, I heard an explosion behind me. Looking behind me, I saw that the bus was in a great fire, some people exploded through the window. It’s too horrifying, I am not going to take the bus again.
Here is video taken from a surveillance camera at the bus stop that shows the explosion before it happens, and immediately afterwards:
At the beginning of the video, the #301 bus has arrived at the bus stop and passengers are getting off the bus at a normal pace. At 0:23, passengers are seen getting off in a hurry, while other commuters aren’t aware of any problems.
At 0:37, an explosion happens, temporarily knocking out the surveillance camera. People are seen running away, while a few victims are seen on the ground covered in flames.
At the end of the video, a man is seen trying to approach the bus. He paces back and forth, looking at the fire numerous times while a victim writhes on the ground beside him.
Here are more pictures from the fire:
UPDATE 1, 3:33pm July 16: Guangzhou police have made an arrest in conjunction with the fire, reports Guangzhou Daily.
Today at 11:47am, Guangzhou police arrested suspect Ou X Sheng, male, 25, and from Hengnan County, Hubei Province.
UPDATE 2, 9:51 July 17: Guangzhou bus fire suspect Ou has confessed that he set the fire as a way to vent his anger regarding his recent gambling losses, reports China Daily.