June 18, 2016

CHINA: Explosion at Shanghai Airport Injures at Least Five People Last Sunday

The Wall Street Journal
written by By James T. Areddy and Esther Fung
Sunday June 12, 2016

SHANGHAI — At least five people were hurt Sunday in an attack in front of check-in counters at Shanghai’s main international airport, which police blamed on a man who tossed an explosive made from a beer bottle.

Police said that after the man threw the bottle—just steps away from a check-in counter at Shanghai Pudong International Airport’s Terminal 2—about 2.30 p.m. local time, he took out a knife and cut his throat. He was taken to a hospital and is in critical condition.

Four others, including a Philippine national, were hospitalized with cuts from glass fragments, according to a statement by Shanghai police posted online.

Police said the explosive was homemade and that an investigation had started. Other reports, including from state media, said the attack involved fireworks.

The incident comes at the start of a week expected to draw global media attention to Shanghai as Walt Disney Co. officially opens a theme park in the city, its first in mainland China.

An unverified video shared on social media showed what appeared to be a parcel or suitcase exploding with small reddish-colored blasts close to check-in counters. The video indicated passengers lining up to check in scattered just ahead of the explosion, suggesting a moment of warning. The explosion appeared to leave most of the people nearby unhurt.

Another video showed a light plume of smoke wafting toward the terminal’s high ceiling, and a photo showed medical authorities rushing a person with a white bandage on their neck on a stretcher through the terminal.

The blast comes days before the scheduled opening of Shanghai Disneyland a short distance from the airport.

Other international events currently under way in Shanghai include a major financial conference, Lujiazui Forum, and an annual film festival that has drawn Hollywood stars including Ian McKellen.

Authorities said that apart from three flights, the airport was operating normally on Sunday evening. The area where the blast occurred houses the check-in area for several Asian and European carriers.

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