A mini-van plowed into pedestrians in downtown Shanghai on Friday morning, leaving the driver and 17 pedestrians hospitalized, Shanghai police said.
At 8:57 am, the van carrying a plate from Jiangxi province caught fire at Xinchang Road intersection when it was driving along the NAanjing West Road from west to east. It went out of control and crashed into pedestrians.
Preliminary investigation found that the driver, surnamed Chen, 40, is an employee of a metal products company in Shanghai. He has no criminal records. He is suspected of illegally transporting dangerous materials. He smoked in the van and caused the fire.
He is receiving treatment in hospital now.
The injured pedestrians are all hospitalized, with no one in critical condition.
The cause is under further investigation.
A mini-van plowed into pedestrians in downtown Shanghai on Friday morning, leaving 18 hospitalized, three with severe injuries, local authorities said.
Shortly after 9 am, a mini-van carrying gas cylinders crashed into a pedestrians' lane at Xinchang Road intersection of Nanjing West Road in Huangpu district.
The van caught fire, which was extinguished by firefighters.
The cause is under investigation.
At around 9:25 am, a reporter from thepaper.cn saw the van was totally blackened, without a sign of fire. A dozen police cars and three fire engines were parked nearby.
Witnesses said that the van went from Xinchang Road to Nanjing West Road at around 9:00 am, caught fire and crashed into the railing before a Starbucks store.
About six in the van were injured and hospitalized. Several pedestrians were also hit.
A witness who only gave her surname as Qian said a passerby tried to break the window of the enflamed van, in an attempt to rescue the driver, who might have been comatose.
"There were gas cylinders in the van. The van caught fire but the cylinders did not. There were six people in the van and a woman was seen with a face like charcoal when she was carried from the van, " another witness said.
Shortly after 9:50, a reporter from thepaper.cn saw three green gas cylinders near the van. At that point, policemen and firemen were still at the scene.