Eight killed in China as hijacked bus crashes into pedestrians

Eight killed in China as hijacked bus crashes into pedestrians

china fujian bus hijack
Screengrab of video footage circulating online said to be showing police subduing one of the attackers in China's Fujian province. 

BEIJING: Eight people were killed and 22 injured after a hijacked bus crashed into pedestrians in east China's Fujian province on Tuesday (Dec 25), state media reported.

A hijacker carrying a knife has been detained and is being investigated by local police, state television CGTN said.

The incident happened at about 3.20pm (0720 GMT) in the city of Longyan, the local Minxi Ribao newspaper reported. A policeman was among the five confirmed dead.

China hijack
Map locating city of Longyan in China's Fujian province where a hijacked bus crashed into pedestrians. (AFP Photo)

In a video posted by Duowei news, a Chinese media outlet based in the US, several injured people were shown lying on the street near a crashed bus, its front badly damaged.

It also showed police wrestling a person to the ground.


Blood could also be seen on the steps of the bus, which had been stopped in the middle of a road.

State-run news agency Xinhua reported the suspect was a 48-year-old local man surnamed Qiu.

He had attacked a female passenger before taking control of the bus, Duowei reported.

Police said that on the day of the attack the suspect had quarrelled with a local official who had visited his home, adding that the pair had a long history of conflict, according to the Xinhua report.

The 22 wounded in the attack were taken to local hospitals, with one person being treated for "serious injures", Xinhua said.

Longyan public security bureau declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

SPATE OF ATTACKS

China has suffered a spate of similar incidents this year.

In late November, a car ploughed into a group of children crossing a street in front of an elementary school in the northeastern Liaoning province, killing five people and injuring at least 19.

The driver said he "chose his victims at random" and had reportedly been contemplating suicide due to domestic troubles before the tragedy occurred.

In October, three people were killed when a man fleeing after committing a stabbing drove into a crowd and attacked onlookers in the eastern province of Zhejiang.

The month before, a man ploughed a truck into a crowd in Hunan province and went on a rampage, attacking onlookers with knives and a shovel. Eleven died and 44 were injured.

Grisly car accidents are common in China, where transportation authorities have struggled to enforce safety regulations, which are often flouted or go unenforced.

According to authorities 58,000 people were killed in accidents across the country in 2015 alone.

Last month, at least 13 people died when a bus plunged off a bridge in Chongqing municipality, after the driver got into a fist fight with a passenger who had missed her bus stop.

Search and rescue teams dispatched more than 70 boats, as well as a team of scuba divers and underwater robots, to find the wreckage and retrieve bodies from the water.

Violent crime has also been on the rise in China in recent decades as the gap between rich and poor has widened rapidly.

Studies also show a rise in the prevalence of mental disorders, some of them linked to stress as the pace of life becomes faster and support systems wither.

Source: Agencies/ek/de

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