Friday, 22 October 2010

Dongzhimen Shakeup

Yesterday afternoon there was an explosion that rocked an area across the street from where I used to live in Dongzhimen in Beijing.
It happened around 3:10pm, at an area called Sky Plaza, which is across from Oriental Kenzo shopping mall. Sky Plaza has a China Merchant's Bank and Bank of China as well as a Sichuan restaurant.

A 30-year-old American suffered a slight leg injury and was taken to the PLA Military General Hospital.

"The sound of the explosion was so massive I estimate people within a 10-kilometre radius heard it," said a security guard at the Dongzhimen subway station entrance. "I saw gray smoke rising after the explosion and I smelled gunpowder in the air. It was probably a bomb," he said, who was also an ex-army soldier.

The blast originated from the bushes by a street lamp in the parking lot outside the Bank of China and Merchant's Bank, where there is a newsstand and a bus stop where I used to catch the bus.

According to news reports, police troops, armed police, special police and firefighters were on the scene within an hour of the explosion, but then it took them two hours to secure the area which is strange. One would think at a crime scene like that police would want it secure within minutes of arriving. They then spent several hours there collecting evidence and photographing the area.

Apparently there was lots of debris, but curiously an onlooker said the police swept it away. Hopefully they took pictures and samples before they cleaned up the mess.

Unless they didn't want people to know about it...

But if the police later claim it was a terrorist attack, there is sure to be further security measures in the already paranoid capital...


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