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Bank bombing details released

THE suspect who allegedly threw a petrol bomb inside a bank and injured 49 people in northwest China on Friday surrendered to police after finding nowhere to flee, the local government revealed at a press conference yesterday.

The government also said there were about 9 liters of gasoline involved in the revenge arson case in which the suspect Yang Xianwen, a 40-year-old former employee of the bank, ignited the petrol in retaliation for being fired.

According to the media release from Tianzhu County government in Gansu Province, Yang started to embezzle treasury funds from 2006 and his work contract was terminated on May 3 this year. Yang later planned a revenge plot targeting bank leaders.

The suspect prepared a plastic barrel and woven bags Thursday night. The next morning, he bought 9 liters of gasoline from a gas station, according to the Tianzhu government.

When Yang was stopped by security guards at the front door of the bank's office building and questioned about the plastic barrel, he claimed it carried edible oil, the Beijing News reported yesterday.

According to Tianzhu government, Yang sneaked into a conference room on the fifth floor at 8:13am on Friday and ignited the gasoline at the door before fleeing.

Witnesses told Beijing News the suspect locked the conference room with an iron chain which blocked the escape passage and some people had to jump out of the windows.

Tianzhu government said 49 people who were having training in the conference room were injured in the fire including those who jumped out of the windows and part of the property was damaged in the fire.

Among the injured, 33 were hospitalized for burns and fractures and four of them received operations yesterday. The other 16 stayed at hospital for observation. All of them were in a stable condition, according to doctors at Tianzhu County People's Hospital.

Bank officials explained previously they didn't report Yang's embezzlement to police because his actions didn't result in economic loss, but Tianzhu police said yesterday they are still investigating the embezzlement accusation.



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