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Man hurt in blast at Beijing airport

By An Baijie and Cao Yin | China Daily | Updated: 2013-07-21 08:42

Man hurt in blast at Beijing airport
A man in wheelchair detonated an explosive device on Saturday evening in Terminal 3 of Beijing International Airport. Chen Jianli / Xinhua 

A man in a wheelchair allegedly set off a homemade explosive device at Beijing's Capital Airport on Saturday evening. The explosion took place outside Gate B of the arrival hall at Terminal 3 at about 6:24 pm, according to public security authorities at the airport.

Ji Zhongxing, 34, from Heze city in Shandong province, allegedly set off the homemade bomb, which police said was manufactured from fireworks. The suspect's left arm was fractured and a police officer was slightly injured. No one else was hurt in the blast, which filled the arrival hall with smoke.

Ji is currently under treatment. He once worked in the southern province of Guangdong and has been petitioning for more than 10 years over alleged unjust treatment which resulted in his paralysis, according to a police investigation.

The area was cleared two hours later, and the situation was quickly brought back to normal. No flights were affected by the incident.

Up until 9 pm, about 20 police officers and security guards were maintaining order at the gate and patrolling other exits.

Eyewitnesses said the suspect Ji had been distributing handbills to passengers at the Arrival Hall from his wheelchair. Security personnel received several complaints and were moving to stop him when he suddenly ignited the bomb, police said.

Man hurt in blast at Beijing airport
An eyewitness is interviewed in an area crowded with journalists. Wang Jing / China Daily  

Tie Gejiang, a witness at the airport, said he was on the second level of the airport waiting for his flight to South Africa, when he heard a loud blast.

"Black smoke filled the building after the very loud sound," he said. "I went downstairs immediately to see what happened and the situation at Gate B was pretty chaotic."

He said he saw some medical personnel hurrying away with the injured suspect, adding that he was worried about the security at the airport.

Chen Long, a father waiting for his 10-year-old daughter who was coming back from the United States, echoed Tie's concerns, saying that security checks should also cover other parts of the airport apart from the boarding gates.

"I was lucky because my child's flight landed two hours later. I cannot imagine what sort of effect this will have on a young child if she had witnessed the incident."

Xu Tianshang, 72, said he was equally worried after he had gotten off his flight from Hong Kong. Xu felt that passengers should be more aware of airport security for their own protection.

Live: Blast at Beijing's airport

8:40 pm

Man hurt in blast at Beijing airport
Airport back to normal. [Photo by An Baijie/China Daily]

8:32 pm

China Daily reporter An Baijie reported from Beijing Capital International Airport that no flight was affected by the explosion on Saturday and the airport has returned to normal.

8:30 pm

The airport says the arrival hall where the explosion went off has been cleared and order was restored. It has opened other areas for arriving passengers.

8:20 pm

A policeman was slightly injured in the explosion, which left the suspect’s arm fractured, CCTV anchor Rui Chenggang wrote on Sina Weibo.

8:15 pm

China Central Televisoin says bomber is alive at the hospital, and the bomb was homemade from fireworks.

8:10 pm

@MalcolmMoore on Twitter: T3 back to normal, they've reopened the arrivals channel. Small pool of blood around 6ft from arrivals exit

Man hurt in blast at Beijing airport

8:05 pm                                                              

Suspect bomber Ji Zhongxing's blog leaked online.

South Metropolis Daily shared on Sina Weibo ablogthat it said was by Ji Zhongxing.

The blog included several stories claiming Ji became paralyzed after he was beaten by security guards in Dongguan, Guangdong province. Ji wrote that he worked part-time as a motorcycle taxi driver to make ends meet and was chased by policemen and then beaten by security guards on June 28, 2005.

Ji had to return to his hometown in Shandong province and has been appealing for assistance.

8:00 pm

Beijing Govt News Office says the suspect hurt only himself with the bomb. No one else was injured.

7:50 pm

Eyewitness @mild_lunawrote on Sina Weibo: Nobody took care of the man shouting in the wheelchair at the beginning, until someone noticed the suspicious white plastic bag. Security guards rushed at him, and several minutes later, the man detonated the explosive.

7:45 pm

Sources at Sina said the man detonated the explosive after he was stopped from passing out leaflets about his grievances.

7:40 pm

Beijing police identified the explosion suspect asJi Zhongxing, who was born in 1979 and from Heze, Shandong province. No flights were affected by the explosion, according to CCTV.

7:35 pm

The Beijing News reports nobody else was injured in an explosion at the airport which declared an emergency following the blast.

A group of photos uploaded to Sina Weibo shows the explosion at Beijing Capital International Airport on Saturday. The photos show a man on a wheelchair shouting and holding up a white bag before the blast. (for more photos at the site)

 Man hurt in blast at Beijing airport

7:30 pm

China Central Television reported that a man got injured after he detonated the explosive used for making firecrackers at the Beijing Capital International Airport. The man was sent to hospital for treatment while police launched an investigation.

7:10 pm

The blast was from a motorized wheelchair, sources told Sina Weibo.

The casualties were unknown so far.

7:00 pm

Many passengers said they witnessed the blast which occurred near Gate B, Terminal 3 of the airport at around 6:24 pm. Some photos uploaded to the site Sina Weibo showed smokes and dusts following the blast.

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