1,000 staff escape mystery bomb blasts at hi-tech firm

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 November, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 November, 2001, 12:00am


Related topics

More than 1,000 employees fled two bomb blasts at a Shenzhen hi-tech company, it was reported yesterday.

The blasts happened on Wednesday at the Huawei Technologies plant, a private firm and one of China's best-known manufacturers of telecommunications switching equipment.

'There were two very minor explosions. One was by a photocopying machine and the other in a tea room. But no one was hurt and our operations have returned to normal,' a company spokesman said yesterday.

According to Guangzhou media reports, the two explosions occurred within 10 minutes of each other on the first floor of a company centre in Shenzhen's Buji Township.

More than 1,000 employees at the plant were evacuated to a cafeteria as police and firefighters sealed the area.

Public security officials in Buji Township refused to comment, but the semi-official China News Service last night quoted police sources saying the two explosions were 'premeditated acts by criminals'.

The agency added that police were drawing up a list of suspects.

Unconfirmed reports had claimed a disgruntled employee may have been responsible.

The blasts were reportedly triggered by small explosive devices that incorporated old clocks as timing mechanisms. The agency said police found batteries and wires at the scenes.

The force could be felt in neighbouring buildings, but damage was not apparent from outside the plant.

Some employees said they saw a man entering the area with a small travel bag just before the blasts.

Huawei Technologies was founded in Shenzhen in 1988 by Ren Zhengfei, a secretive former PLA officer who shuns publicity.

The company was accused of violating United Nations sanctions against Iraq earlier this year by providing fibre-optic communication cables for Iraqi air defences.

Last year, Huawei booked sales of 22 billion yuan.