HONG KONG — A smoking driver ignited a fire inside a van carrying fuel canisters, causing him to lose manage and slam into pedestrians on a sidewalk outdoors a Starbucks in Shanghai on Friday, the police stated. At least 18 folks were injured.
The crash occurred just before 9 a.m. on Nanjing Road West, near People’s Park in the heart of the city, the authorities stated.
The Shanghai police said the driver, a 40-year-old man surnamed Chen, worked for a metalware organization in Shanghai and had no criminal history. He “lost manage and drove onto the sidewalk,” injuring 17 pedestrians and himself. All 18 had been taken to hospitals, and none of the injured pedestrians had been in mortal danger, the police stated.
Witnesses said the van had been carrying fuel canisters. The police stated that the driver had been smoking in the vehicle, setting off a fire inside, and that he was suspected of “illegally transporting dangerous substances.”
Zhang Sai, a 21-year-old security guard at a constructing across the street from the Starbucks, said he noticed the smoke-filled vehicle as it headed toward the sidewalk with no any sign of slowing down.
“The driver couldn’t see the road ahead,” he said.
Kevin Ye, an employee at a Porsche showroom across the street from the Starbucks, stated he saw the van hit a tree in front of the shop. “I instantly heard a lady screaming and saw people inside of the Starbucks attempting to rush out,” he stated.
The fire was extinguished quickly, and it did not appear that any of the canisters exploded.
Firefighters retrieved 3 or four fuel canisters from the burned van, Mr. Ye said.
Video posted on the web showed firefighters dousing flames from a gray van as injured men and women lay on the sidewalk.
Some regional news reports disappeared from their web sites shortly following they had been published, an indication that government censors might have ordered them removed.
Before the police indicated that the crash was an accident, pictures of the flaming van and injured pedestrians stirred issues of a deliberate attack. China has a history of aggrieved citizens employing automobiles or explosions to vent their anger at the authorities.
In 2013, 5 men and women died and dozens a lot more had been injured in downtown Beijing right after a speeding car bowled along a crowded sidewalk and burst into flames near the Forbidden City. In 2009, three folks set themselves and their vehicle on fire at Wangfujing, a buying street just east of Tiananmen Square, in what was described as a protest more than land seizures.
Starbucks is a major presence in China, exactly where it has opened a lot more than 500 places a year, making some 10,000 jobs in the nation annually. There are at least 600 shops in Shanghai alone.
Published at Fri, 02 Feb 2018 09:12:34 +0000