Date
27 March 2017
At least 17 people were killed and 32 others were injured in the bus fire in Helan County in Yinchuan. Photos: Baidu.com
At least 17 people were killed and 32 others were injured in the bus fire in Helan County in Yinchuan. Photos: Baidu.com

Suspect in bus fire that killed 17 in Ningxia arrested

Police arrested a man suspected of setting a public bus on fire in northwestern China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region on Tuesday.

At least 17 people were killed and 32 others were injured in the fire that happened at around 7 a.m. Tuesday in Helan County in the provincial capital Yinchuan, Ming Pao Daily reported.

The suspect, Ma Yongping, admitted to the crime after his arrest inside a building under construction in Helan County at 4:30 p.m., police said.

Based on his social media posts, it was learned that Ma, a construction subcontractor, was angry at the principals of a project in Hongguang town for their failure to pay his fees worth more than 200,000 yuan (US$30,500) over a period of three years.

As a result, Ma had accumulated huge personal debts, was hunted down by loan sharks, had quarrels with his brothers, and was left by his wife.

“I can’t express my despair and anger with words,” Ma said in one of his social media posts, adding that local government officials had been indifferent to his plight when he sought their help.

It was also learned that on Dec. 8, Ma poured gasoline on himself and threatened to set himself on fire if the government would not pay his fees, but officials reportedly just laughed at him.

Police said Ma apparently felt that he was a victim of injustice and took revenge on society.

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KZ/AC/CG

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