A bus fire that injured 32 passengers and left 15 in critical condition on Saturday afternoon was an act of arson, confirmed the Hangzhou Public Security Bureau, who obtained CCTV footage of a man onboard taking out a container of liquid from his backpack and using a lighter to set it aflame.
The fire broke out around 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, when the bus carrying 80 people was passing through downtown Hangzhou of Zhejiang province, Xinhua said.
According to a Beijing News report citing the video footage and witness reports, the suspect, a man who appears to be in his 30s, pulled out a container of banana oil, a lacquer thinner, from his backpack and poured it on the ground before taking a lighter to it.
Passengers, who barely had time to react as it happened, rushed off the vehicle as the flames spread quickly throughout the bus.
As of 3:00 p.m. yesterday, 29 passengers were still being treated in the hospital, with 15 patients still in critical condition. The youngest among the injured was a 17 year old passenger.
Authorities have noted that there is no evidence the arson act is related to an act of terrorism.