A suspect in an explosion at the front gate of a Kindergarten in eastern China has been identified by the police. The explosion happened just as family members and relatives were picking up their children at the end of the school day, horrifically killing eight people.
Two people died at the scene and six died in the hospital where they were rushed to for treatment after the shocking explosion at 4:15 p.m. Thursday at the Chuangxin Kindergarten in Fengxian. 65 others were injured, eight of whom remained in critical condition.
A statement issued by Xuzhou city authorities and the state news agency Xinhua said that police were investigating the explosion as a criminal act and that a suspect has been targeted.
It remains unclear, though, if the said suspect was already apprehended. No potential motive was provided yet either.
A witness earlier told authorities that a gas cylinder at a food stall by the roadside had caused the blast. The force of the blast sent people flying several meters into the air.
Local authorities said no students and teachers from the kindergarten were injured as the school has not finished yet when the explosion struck. Sadly, other children, possibly relatives of the students, were among some of the casualties as videos of the incident showed.
State-run People’s Daily posted the videos which showed a chaotic scene outside the entrance to the school, with children and adults lying on the ground, some of them unable to move, and others struggling to get up off the ground. Clothing, shoes and other items were strewn all over the ground beside horrific pools of blood.
The videos also showed ambulances arriving, medics wheeling people into an emergency room and medical personnel treating a child.
This is not the first time a Kindergarten has been attacked in China. Kindergartens have been hit in the past by suspects whom authorities have said were mentally ill or bore grudges against their neighbors and society.
In 2010, about 20 children were killed in attacks on schools, prompting top government officials and many schools to strengthen security measures by posting guards and installing gates and other barriers.
Just last year, a knife-wielding assailant injured seven students outside a primary school in a northern city. Most of these attacks are carried out using knives, axes or homemade explosives since China impose a steep restriction on firearms use and ownership.