Nine victims of China school blast still fighting for life
Suspected bomber who died in explosion used to live with his parents in a PLA factory dormitory
Nine people were still fighting for their lives on Sunday after a bomb attack near a kindergarten in Jiangsu province on Thursday that killed eight people and injured 65.
Meanwhile, neighbours say the 22-year-old suspected bomber – who was one of the dead – used to live with his parents in a dormitory for workers at factories run by the People’s Liberation Army.
In the intensive care unit of the Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical College, doctors dispatched from Beijing and Shanghai were working around the clock to save the lives of nine badly wounded patients.
Relatives making their way from the blast scene in Feng county, 100km away, gathered at the hospital.
They sat helplessly on the floor because they were not allowed to see their critically injured loved ones.
“I only saw my wife once when she was pushed out of the ward for a CT scan,” said Mr Xie, the husband of a 30-year-old who was standing outside the kindergarten waiting to pick up their six-year-old son when the explosion went off. “She was still in a coma. Her head was wrapped in bandages, as her brain suffered injuries along with her lung and trachea,” he said.
While the doctors said her condition was slowly improving, Xie thought it would take her a long time to recover. “I never expected something so hideous would happen in a small town where we lived,” Xie said. “I was working in a nearby county when I got a friend’s call about the attack. I immediately rushed to a hospital to look for her.”
The whole of Xie’s family was waiting in the hospital, except for his two young sons. “They already knew their mother was hospitalised. The son in the kindergarten, of course heard the explosion. And he is still scared,” he said.
Xie’s mother-in-law was more distressed, barely able to talk other than chanting a prayer for her daughter-in-law. “For the sake of the old and the young, be tough and overcome this,” she said.
Police believe the suspected bomber, identified only by his surname Xu, made the bomb in his apartment.
They are still investigating in a bid to find his motive for the bombing.
Police said they found references to “death” and “extermination” scrawled on a wall in his home.
Xu was originally from Xuzhou city and had dropped out of school after being diagnosed with a neurological disorder.
State media reports said he had been living in a rented flat near the kindergarten and working in the county.
The South China Morning Post went to his old address in Xuzhou, where he lived with his parents before making the unusual decision to move to a poorer county.
The address was inside a complex housing workers at factories run by the People’s Liberation Army. A neighbour said the suspect’s father quit one of the factories last year.
“The suspect moved out a long time ago while his parents also moved out last year,” a neighbour said. The door of the family’s unit was splashed with Lunar New Year wishes dating from 2016.
The blast has prompted the Ministry of Education to launch a nationwide security inspection of schools. It has asked education departments to work with police and other authorities to tackle security risks.