Monday, 28 October 2013

Mysterious Crash and Burn

A jeep bursts into flames right by the entrance to the Forbidden City
Something serious happened on the way to Tiananmen Square today, where a jeep went off the road and careened into a barrier and then exploded right in front of the Gate of Heavenly Peace, the entrance to the Forbidden City on Chang'An Avenue.

Three people died in the vehicle and the latest report is that two bystanders, a female tourist from the Philippines and one from Guangdong have also died, and 38 injured.

It's not immediately clear what happened -- if it was intentional or not -- but the location of the incident points to something that may have been planned.

In any event the police were totally prepared for incidents like this and immediately cleared the area, put up green shields to prevent any onlookers, forced the media to delete pictures from their cameras and cleaned up the scene so that tourists that came later had no clue what had just happened.

The Chinese authorities are trying to control the incident as much as possible and it will be interesting to see who they identify as the three people in the car. Some are already wondering if the car exploding into a fireball was another form of self-immolation. If so it raises this form of protest to another level...

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