Sat, Nov 24, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Driver deliberately crashed into group of children: police

AP, BEIJING

The suspect in a car crash that killed five children wanted to kill himself and deliberately targeted a crowd walking outside an elementary school in northeastern China, officials said yesterday, in what appeared to be the latest in a pattern of vehicle attacks.

The 29-year-old driver is an introvert and wanted to kill himself, because he was having an argument with his wife, according to a Jianchang County statement that an official read over the telephone to reporters.

The suspect was identified only by his surname, Han.

Security camera footage of Thursday’s attack showed a vehicle swerving into children who had almost finished crossing a street in front of their school before driving off.

In addition to the dead, 19 people were injured, three of them seriously, the statement said, adding that most of the victims were between five and seven years old.

The school is in the city of Huludao in Liaoning Province.

The driver was arrested shortly after the crash. Photographs posted online by police showed him being taken from his vehicle, which appeared to have crashed into a ditch, and being taken to a police station restrained by several officers.

He chose to target the children randomly, the statement said.

China has seen a series of attacks in which people described as mentally ill or alienated and angry have targeted pedestrians with vehicles.

Last month, a knife-wielding man drove a vehicle into a crowd in the eastern city of Ningbo, killing two people and wounding 16.

In September, 11 people were killed and 44 hospitalized after a man drove a sports utility vehicle into people at a plaza in the central Hunan Province then jumped out and attacked victims with a dagger and a shovel.

Other deadly attacks have occurred at or just outside schools, including several in 2010 in which a total of nearly 20 children were killed, prompting schools nationwide to beef up security.

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