18 injured after van catches fire, slams into sidewalk at Shanghai’s People’s Park
The van was reportedly carrying a number of gas canisters, but a terrorist attack is not likely
Eighteen people were injured in Shanghai on Friday morning after an out-of-control van in flames slammed into a sidewalk outside of a Starbucks on West Nanjing Road near People’s Park.
The van was driven by a 40-year-old man surnamed Chen who works at a local metal products company. According to a statement from Shanghai police, Chen was smoking and driving while illegally transporting flammable material — reported to be a number of gas canisters.
An initial investigation found that Chen’s smoking likely started the fire, causing him to lose control of his vehicle and plow into pedestrians at around 9 am, police said.
The flames inside the vehicle were quickly put out by firefighters. While three people were seriously injured in the crash, none of the injuries sustained are life-threatening.
Video has gone viral on WeChat of the aftermath of the crash, showing firefighters working to extinguish the flaming van and victims sprawled out on the sidewalk.
We will update this post as more information becomes available, but at this time it appears unlikely that this crash was a terrorist attack.
[Images via NetEase]