47 dead, 34 injured in SE China bus fire

  

Photo taken on June 7, 2013 shows the accident locale where fire broke out on a bus

on an elevated bus lane in Xiamen, southeast China’s Fujian Province. At least forty-two

people died and 33 others were injured after the bus burst into flames in Xiamen

on Friday evening, authority said. 

 

By Fu Min, Xiang Kailai, Yao Yuan, Shi Shouhe and Hu longjiang

At least 42 people died and 33 others were injured after a bus burst into flames on an elevated road in southeast China’s Fujian Province on Friday evening of June 7, the local government said.

A BRT (bus rapid transit) bus caught fire near the Jinshan bus stop in the city of Xiamen at about 6:20 p.m., said an official from the municipal government.

A Xinhua reporter at the scene saw the charred frame of the bus perched on the road about ten meters above the ground. Some witnesses said they heard explosions about ten minutes after the fire broke out.

The reporter said the fire occurred during the evening rush hour, when the city’s BRT buses are usually packed with commuters.

A slightly injured passenger surnamed Yang said she was using her mobile phone when she smelled gasoline and saw another passenger smashing the window in an attempt to escape.

The fire spread quickly, she recalled.

Pictures allegedly taken by witnesses and posted online showed heavy smoke as the fire engulfed the bus, as well as survivors with burns on their arms and legs.

China’s social media, including Twitter-like Weibo, were buzzed with laments and posts looking for relatives and friends who were suspected of being on the bus when the fire occurred.

The fire was put out at 6:45 p.m.. The cause is under investigation.

Xiamen’s BRT system became operational in 2008 as the coastal city sought to ease traffic congestion, an urban problem that has plagued many Chinese cities.

BRT buses run in separate lanes usually on elevated roads. It is now an important means of transportation for Xiamen residents.

President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have given instructions regarding the fire. The State Council, China’s cabinet, sent a work team led by State Councilor and Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun to Xiamen on Friday evening to oversee the investigation of the fire.

President Xi, who is currently on a trip to America, has warned that China can never pursue development at the cost of people’s lives, after a string of deadly accidents rocked the nation.

“Human’s life is most precious and we can never pursue development at the cost of people’s lives. This is a red line that cannot be overstepped,” Xi said in an instruction on work safety issued on Thursday.

“Major accidents have occurred one after another and incurred heavy casualties and property losses. Great attention must be aroused,” Xi ordered, according to a statement released by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China late Friday evening.

He urged governments at various levels to learn “the lesson paid for with blood” and conduct a thorough overhaul targeting workplace safety to eliminate potential hazards.

The bus fire followed a series of fatal accidents in China over the past month. On June 3, a fire killed 120 and injured 77 others in a poultry plant in northeastern province of Jilin.

On June 2, an oil tank explosion at a PetroChina outlet in the port city of Dalian in northeast Liaoning Province left two people dead and another two missing. On the same day, a mine explosion killed ten people and injured 15 others in the city of Shaoyang in central Hunan Province.

A total of 33 people died in a blast at an explosives factory in east China’s Shandong Province on May 20, while a coal mine explosion killed another 28 workers in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on May 11.

 

 

 

 

 

Updated !!! 

 

China bus fire suspected

“serious criminal case”

 

By Xiang Kailai, Liang Saiyu and Li Laifang

Initial investigation has suggested Friday evening’s bus fire that has claimed 47 lives and hospitalized 34 in east China’s Fujian Province is a suspected “serious criminal case,” the local government said at a press conference on Saturday morning of June 8.

Investigation by experts and police has cast doubt on technical failure being the cause of the blaze. The tires and oil tank of the BRT (bus rapid transit) bus, which caught fire in Xiamen City at about 6:20 p.m. on Friday, were not damaged before the fire. The combustion improver was gasoline while the bus was equipped with a diesel engine.

A spokesman from the municipality government said further investigation is under way.

A working team led by State Councilor and Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun arrived in Xiamen at around 1 a.m. on Saturday.

After inspecting the scene and comforting the injured in hospitals, Guo demanded experienced medical staff work hard to save the lives of the injured and ensure they receive the best and timely treatment.

He ordered a thorough inspection of the scene and for the truth about the incident to be established.

The Public Security Ministry has urged Fujian police departments to take rapid and effective measures to carry out a safety overhaul of public transport and other sectors and ensure overall social stability.

The ministry also demanded police ensure the smooth administration of the ongoing national college entrance exams, which started on Friday and will end on Sunday, testing more than nine million examinees.

The BRT bus line in Xiamen resumed operation on Saturday morning, meaning it can play its part in helping candidates reach their exams on time. There will be strict safety checks on passengers’ luggage by bus station staff.

Two exam candidates in Xiamen were injured in the bus fire, and they are now receiving treatment at the No. 174 Hospital.

Xiamen’s BRT system, operational since August 2008, is an important means of transportation for Xiamen residents, as more than 265,000 people travel daily on the network.

The fire occurred during the evening rush hour, when the city’s BRT buses are usually packed with commuters.

On June 5, 2009, a bus in Chengdu, capital of southwestern Sichuan Province, was set ablaze by an unemployed man with gasoline, killing 28 people and injuring more than 70.

 

 

Above:  Investigators work outside and inside the debris of a burned bus in Xiamen,

southeast China’s Fujian Province, early on the morning of June 8, 2013.

 

 

Updated !!!   

 

Suspect in fatal

China bus fire

identified

 

By Hu Tao, Liang Saiyu and Hu Su

A suspect has been identified in the case of Friday’s fatal bus fire in the eastern Chinese city of Xiamen, local police said Saturday of June 8 via their official microblog.

Investigation into the case has achieved breakthroughs, and detailed information will be disclosed soon, said “Xiamen Police Online,” the official microblog of the Xiamen Municipal Public Security Bureau, on its Twitter-like Sina Weibo account.

The fire occurred at about 6:20 p.m. on Friday on a BRT (bus rapid transit) bus. The incident has claimed 47 lives and hospitalized 34 others.

A list of those injured in the blaze has been released while the identities of the victims are still being verified, said a spokesman with the Xiamen Municipal government.

Ninety people were on board the BRT bus, which had a designed capacity of 95, when the fire occurred.

There were 15 students on board and seven of them are receiving medical treatment in hospital. Eight students remain missing, according to the Xiamen Municipal Education Bureau.

Initial investigation has suggested the bus fire is a suspected “serious criminal case,” with doubt cast on technical failure being the cause.

The tires and oil tank of the bus were not damaged before the fire. The combustion improver was gasoline while the vehicle was equipped with a diesel engine.

Further investigation is under way.

The BRT bus line in Xiamen resumed operation on Saturday morning. There will be strict safety checks on passengers’ luggage by bus station staff.

Xiamen’s BRT system, operational since August 2008, is an important means of transportation for Xiamen residents, as more than 265,000 people travel daily on the network.

The fire occurred during the evening rush hour, when the city’s BRT buses are usually packed with commuters.

 

Buses arrive at the Caitang Station of  BRT (bus rapid transit) line in Xiamen City, southeast

China’s Fujian Province, on Friday evening. The BRT bus line in Xiamen resumed operation

on Saturday morning of June 8, 2013.   Photo by Wei Peiquan

 

 

 

Updated !!!

 

Suspect identified,

dies in fatal China bus fire

 

By Xiang Kailai, Hu Su, Meng Zhaolin, Zheng Liang, Yu Yingrui,

Hu Tao, Li Laifang, Xia Xiao, Liang Saiyu and Shi Shouhe

 

An old man who allegedly set fire to a crowded bus to “vent personal grievances” in east China’s Xiamen City Friday evening had died in the blaze, local authorities said on Saturday of June 8.

Chen Shuizong, born in 1954 and a native of Xiamen, was identified as the arsonist of the fire, which claimed 47 lives and hospitalized 34 others, the information office of the city government said in a statement.

It said that an investigation and DNA evidence found that Chen was the suspect.

Xiamen police found notes in the suspect’s house, which showed that Chen was unhappy and pessimistic about his life, and planned the arson to vent personal grievances.

The fire happened at about 6:20 p.m. on Friday on a BRT (bus rapid transit) bus in Xiamen in Fujian Province. It has been investigated as a “serious criminal case” as experts and police cast doubt on a technical failure being the cause of the blaze.

An investigation showed that the tires and oil tank of the bus were not damaged, and the combustion improver was gasoline while the vehicle was equipped with a diesel engine. Local police suspected the case was arson.

As of 8 p.m. Saturday, 47 people were confirmed dead and 34 others were hospitalized in the First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University and the 174th Hospital of Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

Among the injured, 16 people were in critical condition, said Yao Guanhua, deputy director of the Health Department of Xiamen City.

Ninety people were on board the BRT bus, which had a designed capacity of 95, when the fire happened.

There were 15 students on board and seven of them are receiving medical treatment in hospital. Eight students remain missing, according to the Xiamen Municipal Education Bureau.

The BRT bus line in Xiamen resumed operation on Saturday morning. There will be strict safety checks of passengers’ luggage by station staff.

Xiamen’s BRT system, operational since August 2008, is an important means of transportation for locals, as more than 265,000 people travel daily on the network.

The fire happened during the evening rush hour, when the city’s BRT buses are usually packed with commuters.

The fire followed a series of fatal accidents in China over the past month. On June 3, a blaze killed 120 and injured 77 others in a poultry plant in northeast China’s Jilin Province.

On June 2, an oil tank explosion at a PetroChina outlet in the port city of Dalian in northeast China’s Liaoning Province left two people dead and another two missing. On the same day, a mine explosion killed ten people and injured 15 others in the city of Shaoyang in central China’s Hunan Province.

A total of 33 people died in a blast at an explosives factory in east China’s Shandong Province on May 20, while a coal mine explosion killed 28 workers in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on May 11.

 

 

Updated !!!

 

Flowers are laid to mourn for the victims in front of a pier of the elevated

bus lane on June 8, 2013.    Photo by Wei Peiquan 

 

 

 

NEW POST   updated on June 10  

 

7 students die

in fatal Xiamen bus fire

 

By Meng Zhaoli, Fu Min and Xia Xiao

Seven students were confirmed dead in a fatal bus fire that occurred on last Friday in east China’s Xiamen City, local authorities said Monday of June 10.

There were 15 students on board when the fire broke out. They all participated in college entrance examination on Friday of June 7 in a school in Jimei District and returned by taking the BRT (bus rapid transit) bus, said Guo Xianwen, deputy director of Xiamen Municipal Education Bureau.

Seven students on the bus were confirmed dead through DNA identification. Another seven injured students are still receiving medical treatment in local hospitals, Guo said.

DNA comparison of one reported missing student is under way, Guo added.

As of Monday, the fire, which was allegedly set by a pessimistic citizen, Chen Shuizong, on last Friday has claimed 47 lives and hospitalized 34 others, and 16 of whom are in critical condition.

One injured person was discharged from a hospital on Sunday, and another one is expected to leave hospital this afternoon, Guo said.

Names of the 47 deceased haven’t been published.

The Health Department of Xiamen City has dispatched psychologists to carry out psychological interventions for the injured and relatives of the deceased.

Chen Shuizong, born in 1954 and a native of Xiamen, was identified as the arsonist of the fire, according to the information office of the city government.

Xiamen police found notes in Chen’s house, which showed he was unhappy and pessimistic about his life and planned the arson to vent personal grievances. 

 

 

 

Updated !!! 

 

8 students confirmed

to have died in bus fire

 

By Meng Zhaoli, Hu Su and Xia Xiao

DNA tests have concluded that eight students who were reported missing after a fatal bus fire in east China’s Xiamen City died in the blaze, local authorities said on Monday of June 10.

A total of 15 secondary vocational school students were returning home aboard the BRT (bus rapid transit) bus after they participated a college entrance exam on Friday of June 7.

The seven other students were injured after Chen Shuizong allegedly started a fire on the bus.

The fire has claimed 47 lives and injured 34 others. Thirty-three people are still receiving treatment in hospital, with two people being discharged on Sunday.

DNA comparisons of the 47 who died were completed on Monday afternoon, the publicity department of Xiamen City said.

Chen, a native of the city, allegedly started a fire on the bus, which was carrying about 90 passengers. He died in the blaze.

Xiamen police found notes in Chen’s house, which showed he was unhappy and pessimistic about his life and planned the arson to vent personal grievances.

The Health Department of Xiamen City has dispatched psychologists to help the injured and relatives of the deceased.

 

 

 

NEW POST   updated on June 10 

 

SE China bus fire victims’

names released

 

By Cao Kai, Xiang Kailai and Hu Su

DNA tests of 47 victims of a bus fire in southeast China’s Fujian Province on Friday evening of June 7 have been completed, with the names of the victims being released, local authorities said on Tuesday of June 11.

The victims included 22 males and 25 females, according to a statement from the Xiamen municipal government’s information office.

The fire broke out in Xiamen City, claiming 47 lives and injuring 34 others.

The victims included eight secondary school students who were returning home aboard the BRT (bus rapid transit) bus after sitting a college entrance exam.

Chen Shuizong, a native of the city, allegedly started a fire on the bus, which was carrying about 90 passengers. He died in the blaze. 

 

 

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