At least 11 dead in Hunan after car rams into crowd

DETAINED::The driver was identified as a person with a criminal record for drug sales and theft, as well as aggressive behavior, the provincial government said

Reuters, BEIJING

Fri, Sep 14, 2018 - Page 5

Eleven people were killed and 44 injured after a car ploughed into a crowded square in southern China and the driver attacked people with a knife and spade seeking “revenge” on society for previous criminal convictions, authorities said yesterday.

The car drove onto the square in Mishui Town, part of Hengyang in Hunan Province, in the early evening on Wednesday, the Hengyang City Government said in a statement.

The driver, surnamed Yang, but whose gender the city government did not provide, drove the car alone onto the square, then attacked people using a spade and a knife, the statement said.

Yang has a long criminal record, with previous convictions for selling illegal drugs, theft and attacking people, which caused him to harbor a desire for “revenge on society,” the Hunan Provincial Government said.

Yang has been detained, it said, without giving other details.

Video images carried on state media showed several bodies on the ground as bystanders tended to some of them.

In February, 18 people were injured when a minivan caught fire and mounted the pavement in a busy part of central Shanghai and ploughed into pedestrians.

Investigations showed the fire was caused by a driver who was smoking a cigarette inside the vehicle while illegally transporting highly flammable substances.

The Chinese government is generally nervous about such incidents after a car ploughed through pedestrians in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 2013, killing the three people in the car and two bystanders.

Beijing blamed that on separatists from China’s far western region of Xinjiang.