Police: Fatal southwest China bus fire was arson

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BEIJING (AP)

A man suspicious of his wife’s infidelity has admitted to setting a fire aboard a bus that killed six people and injured 35 others this week in southwestern China, authorities said Friday.

The National Ministry of Public Security identified the suspect by his family name of Su. The ministry’s criminal investigation division said in an online statement that the man lost his mental balance after he suspected his wife was having an affair and that he shifted his anger onto the society.

Police in the southwestern city of Guiyang said they had taken into custody the suspect, who admitted to lighting gasoline that he had taken with him onto the bus. State-run China Central Television said the suspect suffered minor back injuries from the fire.

The bus caught fire near an elementary school Thursday. Media reports said about 50 people were inside the vehicle.

One witness said the bus was no more than 20 meters (yards) from him when he heard an explosion.

“After some sparks gleamed in the middle of the bus, it all of sudden got engulfed in a sea of flames,” Zeng Xi said. “I couldn’t see how many passengers were on the bus because of the dark smoke, but noticed a middle-aged man jump out a window. It only took a few minutes for the inferno to destroy the whole bus.”

Photos circulating online showed the bright blue and green vehicle enveloped in flames and black smoke. Later, photos showed the bus burned to its frame.

Last year, a Chinese man set fire to a commuter bus in the southeastern port city of Xiamen, killing himself and 46 others. A deadly bus fire in 2009 killed 27 people, including the arsonist, in the central city of Chengdu. Both men were believed to be settling scores with society in China, where tensions have been on the rise because of growing gaps in wealth and a lack of social security.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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