A rush-hour fire and explosion on a Shanghai bus yesterday killed three people and injured at least 12, local police and state media reports said.
The three died when the No. 842 bus in Yangpu district in northern Shanghai caught fire at about 9am, the Shanghai police said on its Web site.
The cause of the incident was under investigation, said the police report, which gave no further details.
Officials from the police and bus company would not comment on a report by Xinhua news agency saying the fire followed an explosion. It was not clear what may have caused the blast.
Police put the number of passengers injured at 12, although a report on the Web site of the local state-run newspaper, Liberation Daily, said more than 20 were hurt.
Xinhua said firefighters estimated about 50 passengers were on the bus at the time.
The Liberation Daily report and a local witness said some passengers were trapped because the air-conditioned bus had windows that could not be opened and at least one door was stuck shut.
“People could not get the middle door open, so only a few escaped unhurt through the front door,” said the bystander, who had just missed getting on the bus for his morning commute.
“It seemed strange that the bus burned up so fast. The steel plates on the top and bottom were quickly ruined,” the man said.
The Liberation Daily report showed the blackened bus, its roof partly blown open, stopped at the side of the road, surrounded by fire extinguisher foam.
By late morning, the scene of the explosion had been completely cleared of debris.
Staff at the headquarters of the Dazhong Transportation offices said officials responsible for speaking to media were not available for comment.