Tue, May 06, 2008
The Straits Times
3 die in bus fire sparked by passenger

SHANGHAI - THREE people were killed when flammable materials carried by a passenger caused a fire on a crowded bus in Shanghai yesterday, police and witnesses said.

The incident occurred during the morning traffic rush hour in north-west Yangpu district, injuring 12 other passengers, the city's public security bureau said.

'From the initial investigation, the fire disaster was caused by a passenger carrying flammable products aboard the bus,' the bureau said in a statement on its website. It did not say what the product was.

Photos of the incident showed the No. 842 bus completely engulfed in flames as billows of heavy black smoke filled the sky.

About 50 passengers were aboard the bus when it caught fire.

Locals at the scene said it appeared that a fire broke out at the back of the bus, while a passenger said she had smelled a strong odour of gasoline before she got out.

Shanghai's Xinmin Daily reported that the back door of the bus did not open, making it hard for passengers to escape the blaze. The windows of the air-conditioned bus were also sealed tight.



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