The 25-year-old man who set fire to a bus in Guangzhou on Tuesday, killing two people and injuring 32 others, told police that ‘anger over gambling losses’ is what drove him to commit the crime, SCMP reports.
Authorities detained the suspect on Wednesday and said that he confessed to starting the fire “to vent his anger over gambling losses,” a police statement said.
Witnesses near the scene at Dunhe station in the Haizu district described hearing a loud bang around 7:40 p.m. as the vehicle suddenly went up in flames. The fire was put out in 15 minutes, after which, the bodies of two victims were found in their seats.
The People’s Daily reported on its official Twitter feed that the blast was caused by “passengers’ abandoned fireworks”.
Video footage showing the purported bus engulfed in flames has been released online. Eight people remain in critical condition, including a woman who is three months pregnant.
This marks the third case this month involving acts of arson on buses in China. On July 6, 15 people were left in critical condition after a man took a container of banana oil, a lacquer thinner, from his backpack and ignited it. Days later, a man from Guangxi pulled flammable liquid from a drinking bottle on a bus in Changsha, Hunan province and set it ablaze, although the fire was quickly extinguished. The man told police that he did it because he wanted to get free meals in jail.
[Image via Xinhua]