Arsonist behind bank blast gets reprieved death

Updated: 2012-01-18 01:20


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LANZHOU - An arsonist behind an explosion that injured 49 people at a rural bank last year in Northwest China's Gansu province was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve on Tuesday.

The Intermediate People's Court in the city of Wuwei handed down the verdict to Yang Xianwen, a former employee of the Rural Credit Cooperative in Tianzhu Tibet autonomous county.

Yang, who had been fired by the bank for embezzling public funds, started the blaze in his former workplace in a quest for revenge, according to a court statement.

On May 13, Yang ignited 10 liters of gasoline at the door of a hall in the bank, while more than 50 employees were having a meeting in the room, said the statement.

Forty-nine employees suffered burns or were injured after jumping from the five-story building, and 10 of them were seriously injured, it said.

Yang was given a lenient punishment because he surrendered himself to police and showed sincere penitence during the trial, it said.