Police name suspect in Chinese bus fire | News | DW | 08.06.2013
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Police name suspect in Chinese bus fire

A fire on a bus in China that killed 47 people has prompted a criminal investigation. Police say they found evidence of a "criminal case" in the burned-out bus, and later named a suspect who perished in the blaze.

This picture taken on June 7, 2013 shows investigators at the scene of a bus that caught fire on the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) elevated road in the city of Xiamen, China's southeast Fujian province. A fire that engulfed a commuter bus in minutes during rush hour in the Chinese city of Xiamen, killing 47 and injuring dozens more, appears to have been deliberately set, state media quoted investigators as saying on June 8. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

China Xiamen Feuer Bus Overlay

Police in the southeastern city of Xiamen, where the fire occurred, said on Saturday they were treating the deadly fire as a criminal case adding that gasoline had been used as an accelerant in the fire. The bus ran on diesel, and the fuel tank and tires were still intact. Police have all but ruled out a mechanical problem as the source of the blaze.

The bus that caught fire in southeastern China on Friday was completely destroyed and 47 people were killed.

A government notice said that that police had identified Chen Shuizong after an on-site investigation, interviews and examination of DNA evidence. The statement said Chen, who was born in 1954, had died in the fire and that he had planned the attack because he was "unhappy and pessimistic."

The fire occurred during the evening rush hour on Friday on an elevated road. Deliberately-set fires as this one appears to be are not unknown in China: in 2009, an unemployed man set himself and the crowded bus he was travelling on ablaze, killing himself and 26 others.

Police in Xiamen had stepped up baggage checks of bus passengers after the fire. The city's entire Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network was shut down on Friday but has since resumed service.

mz,rc/msh (AP, Reuters, AFP)