Pedestrians flee as blast kills man in Qingdao

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 October, 2009, 12:00am

A man was killed by an explosion on a road in Qingdao, Shandong, yesterday, hours before the opening ceremony of the National Games in the province.

Staff at the Dechao Grand Hotel, in Licang district, said an explosion rocked the building at noon. A witness reported seeing a man's bloody remains on the roadside about 100 metres from the hotel. Pedestrians fleeing the scene disrupted traffic on the six-lane Dalao Road. 'I have not seen anything so horrifying,' the witness, a Qingdao resident, said. 'The man seemed to have something on him that blew up. His entire upper body was gone. Fortunately it was only powerful enough to kill him.'

Another witness said the explosion took place in front of a Chinese restaurant, when a car was passing. It came to an abrupt halt and the passengers emerged looking badly shaken, without appearing injured. The windows of the vehicle were intact.

Police and senior city government officials sealed the site and cleaned it up promptly, said a statement by the district's Public Security Bureau. It said the man was killed by an object he was carrying that exploded as he was trying to cross the road. A bureau spokeswoman said the nature of the object and the man's identity were still under investigation.

The opening ceremony of the 11th National Games took place last night in Jinan, the provincial capital, with President Hu Jintao and other senior central government officials attending.

Qingdao, a costal city, is the venue for a number of water-sport events, such as sailing and diving.

Shandong has mobilised a large number of police, armed police and volunteers to prevent possible terrorist attacks and protests by residents.

On Thursday, a team of security experts arrived in Qingdao, inspected a few sites and praised the city government for doing an excellent job to ensure public safety.