Man ‘critical’ as 5 hurt in blast at Pudong airport
A MAN hurled a bottle containing home-made explosives inside Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport yesterday, injuring four people before attempting to kill himself.
The unidentified man removed a beer bottle with explosive materials from a backpack before throwing it in front of a check-in counter in Area C in Terminal Two at the Pudong airport at 2:26pm, police said.
He then took out a dagger and slashed at his neck, police said, adding that the man is now in a critical condition in hospital. His motive was not disclosed.
Armed police quickly sealed off the area.
Four passengers were slightly injured by broken glass, police said.
The incident came as people returned home after a public holiday and just days before Thursday’s opening of a Disney theme park in the city.
A video taken by a surveillance camera showed passengers waiting in line in front of the check-in counters suddenly running from the area in panic. Then came the explosion with a bright flash and lots of smoke.
Four of the injured are being treated at the Pudong New Area People’s Hospital.
The hospital said that one 30-year-old man had to have surgery for serious injuries to his neck. He arrived at the hospital around 3pm and underwent an operation that finished at 6:15pm. He is in the hospital’s intensive care unit receiving further treatment.
Bottle with burning fuse
The others are a 53-year-old man from the Philippines, and two Chinese — a 67-year-old man and a 64-year-old woman. They sustained injuries to their heads, hands and legs, according to Xinhua news agency.
A fifth person hurt, thought to be a Chinese man, was allowed home after treatment at the airport’s clinic.
“A beer bottle with a burning fuse rolled into the queue when we were waiting for the check-in,” said Susan Shen, who was among passengers waiting to check in their luggage for a flight to Bangkok.
“And then suddenly the bottle exploded with a loud bang and colorful flash like fireworks.
“Later, a similar bottle rolled in and triggered the second explosion,” she said, adding there was less than one minute between the two blasts.
Another passenger, who declined to be identified, said she saw the beer bottle but didn’t move away as she thought it was some kind of joke.
Shen said she saw a man around 30 years old and 1.7 meters tall being knocked over by a luggage trolley.
“The man was about to take something out from his bag then, maybe another beer bottle,” another witness surnamed Yang said. “But a male passenger in his 50s stopped him by bumping into him with a luggage trolley. After he fell, I came to have a closer look and found a serious cut on his neck.”
Shen said she had been about to join a group tour to Bangkok on a Thai Airways flight due to take off at around 5:30pm, but their guide told her the group’s luggage would all have to be inspected before takeoff.
Check-in Area C was cordoned off after the blast and check-in counters in the area — those of Thai Airways, Philippine Airlines and Singapore Airlines — transferred to other sections.
Three flights were delayed, the airport authority said, without giving details.
According to the information board at the airport, Philippine Airlines flight PR337 due to leave for Manila at 4pm was canceled.
All other flights were operating normally, the airport authority said.
About 20 armed police officers and 10 police officers gathered in the cordoned off area and at around 5:30pm an explosive ordnance disposal officer could be seen examining a package in the area.
At 6:15pm, Thai Airways passengers were allowed to check in at Area E.
The airport authority has upgraded security levels at the airport and passengers and luggage will be inspected on entry to the terminal buildings.
Normally, passengers’ luggage will go through X-ray machines at check-in counters while carry-on luggage is inspected after they pass through the check-in area.
After the blast, security guards were stationed at entrances to the terminal building, manually inspecting luggage before passengers were allowed entry.