Fatal Guizhou bus fire was arson: Guiyang police

Police say passenger in Guiyang, angered over wife’s possible affair, set fire to barrel of petrol

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 February, 2014, 4:42pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 March, 2014, 3:55am

Authorities said yesterday they have detained a man suspected of starting a fire aboard a bus that killed six people and injured 35 this week in the southwestern city of Guiyang.

Guizhou provincial police said the suspect "took revenge on society" by igniting a barrel of petrol on the bus, causing the deadly blaze, Xinhua reported. The Ministry of Public Security's criminal investigation bureau said on its official weibo the man had suspected his wife was having an affair.

Police did not identify the suspect.

The bus caught fire near an elementary school on Thursday. Media reports said about 50 people were inside the vehicle.

Xinhua said a four-month-old boy was among the dead.

One witness said the bus was no more than 20 metres away from him when he heard an explosion. "After some sparks gleamed in the middle of the bus, it all of a sudden became engulfed in a sea of flames," Zeng Xi said. "I couldn't see how many passengers were on the bus because of the dark smoke, but noticed a middle-aged man jump out of a window. It only took a few minutes for the inferno to destroy the whole bus."

Citing survivors, Xinhua said the fire spread quickly and many people simply did not notice the emergency hammers to smash the bus windows to escape.

Photos circulating online showed the bright blue and green vehicle enveloped in flames and black smoke. Later, photos showed the bus burned down to its frame. Survivors were being treated in hospital.

Last year, a man set fire to a commuter bus in the southeastern port city of Xiamen , killing himself and 46 others.

A deadly bus fire in 2009 killed 27 people, including the arsonist, in the central city of Chengdu . Both men were believed to be settling scores with society, as tensions rise amid growing gaps in wealth and a lack of social security.