17 Die In China Bus Fire; Arson Suspected

China Bus Fire
A suspected arsonist was captured after a bus fire Tuesday in Helan County of China's Ningxia Hui autonomous Region which killed 17 people. Photo by Li Ran/Xinhua

YINCHUAN , China, Jan. 5 (UPI) — Police arrested a suspected arsonist Tuesday after a bus was set on fire in Yinchuan, China, killing 17 people.

The incident in Helan County, in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of northwestern China, also hospitalized 32 people. Eight people were in critical condition, Jia Shaobing of Yinchuan’s Ningxia Medical University General Hospital said.

The 84-seat bus caught fire early Tuesday as it traveled down an urban street to a railway station. An unidentified arson suspect, 33, was captured at a nearby construction site, state media Xinhua reported without mentioning a possible motive.

“I was sitting at the front of the bus when suddenly people started screaming ‘Fire! Bus on Fire!’ When I turned around, the flames were racing toward me and quickly my shoes were on fire. I thought the bus was about to explode, and I was going to die. Then the door opened and we all rushed out,” said passenger Hu Yuexiang, 26.


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