• Sun
  • Sep 21, 2014
  • Updated: 3:46pm

Tiananmen Square terror attack

Five people were killed and 38 injured when an SUV rammed through barricades in front of Tiananmen Square’s gate tower in Beijing and burst into flames on October 28, 2013. Amid tight censorship of social media and terse news reports, police launched a manhunt for eight people, mostly members of the Uygur ethnic community living in the restive Western region of Xinjiang. Within ten hours, police detained five members of the Uygur ethnic minority. Two days later, authorities declared the incident a “terrorist attack” prompting concern among Uygur exile groups over a backlash against the ethnic group.

NewsChina
CRASH

Five killed, 38 hurt as jeep crashes and burns in Tiananmen Square

Cause unknown after vehicle careers 500 metres along pedestrian walkway before crashing into barrier and bursting into flames

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 October, 2013, 1:35pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 October, 2013, 12:54pm

Five people were killed and 38 injured when a jeep rammed through barricades in front of Tiananmen Square's gate tower and burst into flames yesterday.

Three people inside the vehicle died, along with two tourists, who were identified by police only as a Filipino woman and a man from Guangdong.

The explosive crash at the symbolic heart of Beijing - just under the massive portrait of Mao Zedong - led some to speculate whether it was an accident or an attack.

The incident comes at an especially sensitive time, just ahead of the Communist Party's third plenum to thrash out social and economic policies. But by last night, neither the Beijing police nor state media had offered an official explanation.

Some internet users doubted whether such a crash at Tiananmen Square, scene of the 1989 crackdown, was accidental. A user on Twitter posted a purported police notice about looking for two men and an SUV from Xinjiang "following a major crime today".

"That section of pedestrian walkway is filled with tourists," another wrote on Sina Weibo. "It seems ... an intentional act."

Xinhua reported that unidentified senior officials from the central government had inspected the scene later.

All seven members of the supreme Politburo Standing Committee attended an event at the Great Hall of the People across the road yesterday morning.

Police said the jeep approached from the north on Nanchizi Street and turned right into the pedestrian lane of Changan Avenue, which runs east to west between the gate tower and the main part of Tiananmen Square.

After careering 500 metres along the pedestrian walkway, it struck the barrier of the Jinshui Bridge in front of the gate tower at 12.05pm, injuring dozens of tourists and police officers.

"We just went out of the Forbidden City and wanted to go through the underground passage to Tiananmen Square when a jeep drove fast [towards us]," a 23-year-old Filipino woman knocked out by the impact told the Southern Metropolis Daily.

"I heard the jeep's horn, but it was too late. When I came to consciousness again, we were all lying on the ground," she said.

The woman was on a city tour with her parents and sister. She, her father and younger sister are in hospital receiving treatment, but she had no information on her mother's condition.

A witness who declined to be identified told the South China Morning Post: "We saw several ambulances there.

"Policemen came quickly and had us change our route to clear the traffic."

The capital's official news portal Qianlong.com said the injured included at least three people from the Philippines and at least one tourist from Japan.

 

Video: Several dead, dozens injured in Tiananmen Square car crash

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This article is now closed to comments

andreaswagner
An immediate apology by China to the victims' families is due now.
Tiger62
When will there be an apology by the President of China to all the victims and compensation to victims and their families? Clearly not an accident but a suicide terrorist attack that the Beijing police failed to prevent or to minimise casualties.
cphenshaw
Chinese police are obviously badly trained. Will Chinese government apologise to the Philippines for the dead and injured tourists?
norodnik
I second alpot_scmp's observation.
alpot_scmp
So, should the Chinese govt. apologize to the Philippines for not doing enough to protect the tourist?
shuike
The western media will use every opportunity to disparage China. A simple accident & they blow it out of proportion by dragging in a 2 decade old incident & even insinuating that maybe dissident Tibetians opposing Chinese rule were involved.
ramsay
I've not ever heard of a car crashing into a crowd and spontaneously combusting. So this is seemingly not "an accident". It's a story that should be followed until we have some real answers.
shuike
But sacrficing 3 martyr's life when one in a SUV would suffice? Brainy.
scmpbeijing1
How many in the car is irrelevant. You implied that anyone who suggests it was a deliberate attack is some sort of anti-China nutter. Does that include the Beiijing police who suspect Xinjiang Uighur involvement?
tkruemmer
SCMP is in Hong Kong, which, if I am not mistaken, is considered being a part of China. So much about "western media."
The difference of Hong Kong to China may be a higher degree of freedom of speech, which is an element missing in the "democratic" centralism of China. In a supposedly democratic system where the government has a monopoly on information and actively discourages free speech, the elected representatives are mere puppets.
I do not know a single person in China who would not want a free press and free speech.

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