Gansu police track down co-op bank's attacker

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 May, 2011, 12:00am


Police have arrested the man who ignited a can of petrol in a rural bank in Gansu province.

Yang Xianwen, 39, fled and hid in a village after the attack at the Rural Credit Co-operative in the Tianzhu Tibetan Autonomous County in the city of Wuwei on Friday morning.

A public security official said police tracked him down to the village and surrounded the place. Yang then surrendered.

Forty-nine people at the bank were injured after the can, containing nine litres of petrol, exploded. They were having a meeting in a room at the time of the attack.

Among them, 17 suffered fractures while two had serious burns on their faces.

Some of the victims were injured when they jumped out of the window on to an adjacent building.

The provincial government sent a 22-man medical team to help the victims. Two persons who suffered fractures were operated on.

Kang Wei, a director of the county public security bureau, told reporters yesterday that Yang had been employed as a cashier and accounts clerk in two credit co-operatives in the county. However, he was frustrated after being sacked on May 3 for embezzling funds on several occasions.

On Friday morning, Yang bought nine litres of petrol and went to the bank. He stormed into the meeting room where he placed the lighted can of petrol and then fled.

However, police traced him to the village where he was hiding eight hours later, Kang said.

Investigation into the incident is continuing.

The rural credit co-operative suspended nine branches after the blast. The branches resumed business yesterday.

There is rising concern over the lack of legitimate channels for people to express grievances on the mainland, which forced many to use extreme measures in order to get heard.

In another incident on Friday, a man in Guanyun county, Jiangsu province, died after he burned himself as his house was being demolished.

The man poured petrol on himself and lighted it while the demolition crew was checking the property inside the house. He died at the scene.

The local public security bureau has launched an investigation.