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Five dead after man drives into crowd in China

2023-06-04 18:39:40 [Press center 1] source:Reuters

Chinese police have arrested a man who drove a car into pedestrians in Guangzhou, killing five people and injuring 13 others.

The incident has sparked widespread public outrage, with many accusing the man of deliberately targeting people.

Videos posted online show the driver getting out of the car and throwing banknotes into the air, shortly after the crash.

Police have detained the 22-year-old man and launched an investigation.

The crash took place on Wednesday during the evening rush hour at a busy junction in the southern city of 19 million.

"He deliberately drove into the people who were waiting for the traffic light. He rammed the car into them maliciously. After that, he made a U-turn and hit people again," an eyewitness told local outlet Hongxin News.

"He wasn't driving too quickly, but some people couldn't run away in time because they wouldn't have known he was hitting people deliberately."

The man also reportedly drove into a traffic police officer and his motorcycle, but the officer managed to escape.

One widely circulated clip shows a young girl lying on the ground at the scene of the incident, while a woman said to be her mother is seen by her side wailing.

Another eyewitness described the chaos of the aftermath on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. The person said that an hour after the incident, the site was still filled with ambulances and traffic police "and they had not moved all the injured and the bodies from the scene".

"The scene was too tragic and I couldn't bear seeing it. I felt so sad that I wanted to throw up whenever I heard the siren of the ambulance," the person said.

The incident has sparked public anger, with many expressing sorrow that it happened in the lead-up to Chinese New Year, a time for family reunions.

"The victims could be a girl who dressed up meticulously to go on a date… It could be a food deliveryman who earned five yuan after rushing an order. It could be a father who wanted to go home and have dinner with children. It could be a child who was happily shopping," one Weibo user wrote.

Many noted that the man drove a luxury car and had thrown money into the air, and asked if he came from a rich and powerful family.

The incident quickly became a trending topic on Weibo on Wednesday, but it later disappeared from the "hot searches" list, leading users to accuse the platform of censorship.

There have been similar recent incidents. In February 2022, a driver ploughed a mini truck into people in the southern province of Fujian, killing three and injuring nine.

Earlier this week, a hotel guest in Shanghai deliberately drove his car into the lobby following an argument with staff. Nobody was injured in that incident.

(editor-in-charge:Press center9)

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