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China: Suspect 'Killed Himself' In Bus Fire
A man suspected of starting a fire on a rush hour bus that killed 47 people in the Chinese city of Xiamen killed himself in the blaze, according to state media.
Chen Shuizong, a local resident in his late 50s, has been named as the arson suspect after police examined DNA evidence and conducted interviews, according to a report on the Communist Party-run website Xianmen.
A suicide note was apparently found at his home, which reportedly described how he was unhappy and set the fire to vent his anger.
In total, 34 people were taken to hospital after the blaze gutted the commuter bus in the southeastern province of Fujian.
Images on news websites showed a burnt-out shell was all that remained of the vehicle, which caught fire on an elevated road at about 6.30pm local time.
Pictures also showed survivors with bloodstained clothes sitting looking stunned, and thick, black plumes of smoke rising from the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicle as it burned.
The bus was on fire for 10 minutes before it was destroyed by a series of explosions.
At first it appeared to have been a tragic accident, but the Ministry of Public Security later said they were treating it as a "serious criminal case".
Investigators said they had found traces of gasoline on the wreckage, even though the bus ran on diesel fuel and the oil tank and tyres remained intact, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
One passenger said she had smelled petrol before the blaze quickly engulfed the vehicle.
A local official said the bus caught fire 500 metres from the Jinshan bus stop, which appears to be in a residential area of the city.
The BRT system in Xiamen carries more than 250,000 people each day, and China's buses are often crowded with both standing and sitting passengers.
The city's entire network was immediately closed after the fire, but it has now resumed service.
China has witnessed bombings and arson of buses and public buildings in recent years, with the motive varying from settling personal scores to political grievances.
In 2009, an unemployed man killed himself and 26 other people by setting fire to a packed bus in the city of Chengdu.