Blast near Guilin school kills two, injures dozens
Cause of explosion that hurt 45, including 22 school pupils, in resort city of Guilin unclear; some reports point to passing motorcycle rider
At least two people were killed and 45 others injured - many of them children - yesterday morning in an explosion in front of an elementary school in Guilin, Guangxi.
The injured, including 22 primary school pupils, were taken to hospital, China Central Television reported. Many of the injured were adults who were accompanying the pupils to school or passing by the site. Eleven of the injured are in critical condition.
Xinhua said the blast happened at about 7am when a three-wheeled motorcycle driven by a man exploded as it passed the entrance to Balijie Primary School. Citing witnesses, the Xinhua report said the vehicle exploded in front of the school office building.
"First, the motorcycle caught fire and then it exploded with a huge sound that could be heard from far, far away," a witness said.
A dozen motorcycles were scattered around the explosion site and the windows of some cars and stores near the school were damaged.
The website of the People's Daily said that police suspect the motorcycle rider of being the source of the blast. The second fatality was a woman riding next to him on an electric bicycle. The Ministry of Public Security has sent a team to investigate.
Police had not released any more information as of last night. The school was shut and no one there was available for comment.
Local residents said they were scared because the authorities had not disclosed what had caused the blast.
"I was shocked and stunned at the time until I saw a child crying who rushed into my store," a stationery store owner was quoted by guilinhd.com as saying. "The kid's arm was bleeding. A woman said she was too afraid to go out on her own."
An employee of an inn near the school who refused to give her name said: "It felt like the whole street was shaking. Many of our guests were woken up by the blast and rushed from their rooms. The power supply has been shut off since then."
A man who runs a nearby restaurant: "There are several versions of what happened. Some said it was an accident as the fuel tank of the motorcycle suddenly exploded.
"Some said the man is an express delivery man whose package exploded, and some said the man is a father who could not afford to have his kid study at the school. We hope police can tell the public soon the true cause of the incident, whether it was done by a man and whether the poor children were targeted."