Man set Chinese bus on fire over gambling losses: Police

Investigators checking the debris of a bus, which was allegedly set on fire by a man in Guangzhou, in southern China's Guangdong province, on July 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Investigators checking the debris of a bus, which was allegedly set on fire by a man in Guangzhou, in southern China's Guangdong province, on July 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - A Chinese man infuriated by his gambling losses set fire to a bus, leaving two people dead and injuring 32, police said Wednesday.

The blaze, which started with an explosion, engulfed the vehicle in Guangzhou, capital of the southern province of Guangdong, late Tuesday, police said on a verified account on Sina Weibo, a Chinese Twitter equivalent.

Eight of those hospitalised were in critical condition, it added.

The suspect, a 25-year-old surnamed Ou from Henan province, was detained Wednesday.

"Ou confessed that he was dissatisfied by his personal gambling losses, so he carried out an arson attack on the 301 bus," the police statement said.

Previous arson attacks on buses in China have been blamed on disgruntled individuals targeting ordinary people to vent their pent-up frustrations and anger over being denied access to justice.

Earlier this month, a 34-year-old man was detained on suspicion of setting fire to a bus packed with tourists in Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, injuring 32 people.

In May, a man who was detained briefly by police in 2007 torched a bus in Yibin in Sichuan, killing himself and seriously injuring 12 others.

In June last year, an arsonist who wanted to "vent personal grievances" caused a horrific bus blaze in Xiamen in Fujian, killing 47 people and himself.