Published: Thu, September 13, 2018

9 killed, 46 injured after vehicle rams into crowd in China

9 killed, 46 injured after vehicle rams into crowd in China

An SUV crashed into a crowd at a public square, killing several people and injuring more than dozens, the city government said.

The incident on Wednesday evening injured another 44 people, according to officials from Hengdong city in central Hunan province.

Videos carried on Chinese media, such as Btime, showed several bodies on the ground as bystanders tended to some of them.

Three people have been so far been declared dead and 43 injured but the death toll is expected to grow, with some local newspapers already speaking of nine victims.

An investigation has begun, the statement said, but there was no mention of terrorism as a possible motive.

The driver, Yang Zanyun, 54, first ploughed through the people with his vehicle and later got out of it and went on a rampage attacking people with a knife.

"[The suspect] has been sentenced many times for drug trafficking, theft, and other crimes, creating a desire for revenge on society", the Hengyang government statement said.

Knife attacks by disgruntled people in public places and schools to highlight their grievances periodically occur in China.

The government is generally nervous about such incidents after a auto ploughed through pedestrians in the northern part of Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 2013, killing the three people in the vehicle and two bystanders.

Three attackers also died in the incident, which Beijing blamed on separatists from the restive western region of Xinjiang. Witnesses told news website that a red SUV suddenly drove into crowds of people who had been dancing and walking around in the square, causing mass panic.

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