China: Around The Nation

‘Blown tyre’ cause of Chinese SUV explosion that injured two people: police

Internet users raise doubts over official report after video of blast goes viral

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 September, 2016, 4:11pm
UPDATED : Monday, 12 June, 2017, 12:53pm

An SUV exploded in China last month, injuring two people travelling inside, because of a blown tyre, Chinese traffic police say.

However, many mainland internet users who believed the blast was caused by a bomb, expressed doubts about the official conclusion into the incident in Sanhe, in Hebei province, China News Service reported.

Surveillance footage of the Range Rover exploding as it accelerated away from traffic lights went viral on mainland social media after being shared during the past two weeks.

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Many bloggers posted comments suggesting the blast was caused by a bomb in the vehicle.

The explosion caused a huge amount of smoke and sent shattered parts of the vehicle crashing into other traffic.

Air bags were also activated by the blast, which blew out the vehicle’s windscreen and badly dented the doors.

Both the driver and the front-seat passenger, who owns the vehicle, suffered non-life threatening injuries including fractures, cuts and bruises.

Police were surprised by the force of the blast and initially did not believe a blown tyre was the cause.

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But later a careful examination of the vehicle found no traces of explosives, the report said.

Although the vehicle was badly damaged, its chassis had remained intact, which had helped police to rule out a bomb being the cause.

Most social media comments expressed doubts about the police findings.

One Weibo user said he had driven heavy cargo trucks for several decades and seen many tyre explosions, but none had caused a blast similar to that shown in the video.

The owner of the Range Rover told media his driver might have caused the blast by accelerating too hard, which led the front left-hand tyre to burst.