BEIJING (AFP, REUTERS) - At least eight people were killed and 22 injured after a hijacked bus crashed into pedestrians in east China's Fujian province on Tuesday afternoon (Dec 25), state media reported.
Police have detained an unemployed man with the family name Qiu, state media reported.
“Initial police investigation showed that on that day, the suspect had a conflict with an official of the neighbourhood committee, with whom he had long been at odds, during the official’s visit to his home,” Xinhua news agency said late on Tuesday.
“He then attacked people with a knife, hijacked a bus and used it to hit pedestrians,” it said.
The incident happened at about 3.20pm in the city of Longyan, the local Minxi Ribao newspaper reported. A policeman was among the five confirmed dead.
In a video posted by Duowei news, a Chinese media outlet based in the United States, several injured people were lying on the street near a crashed bus, its front badly damaged. It also showed police wrestling a person to the ground.
Blood could also be seen on the steps of the bus, which had been stopped in the middle of a road.
The hijacker had attacked a female passenger before taking control of the bus, Duowei reported.
The suspect has not been identified and Longyan public security bureau declined to comment when contacted by AFP.
China has suffered a spate of similar incidents this year.
In late November, a car ploughed into a group of children crossing a street in front of an elementary school in the northeastern Liaoning province, killing five people and injuring at least 19.
The driver said he "chose his victims at random" and had reportedly been contemplating suicide due to domestic troubles before the tragedy occurred.
In October, three people were killed when a man fleeing after committing a stabbing drove into a crowd and attacked onlookers in the eastern province of Zhejiang.
The month before, a man ploughed a truck into a crowd in Hunan province and went on a rampage, attacking onlookers with knives and a shovel. Eleven died and 44 were injured.
Grisly car accidents are common in China, where transportation authorities have struggled to enforce safety regulations, which are often flouted or go unenforced.
Violent crime has also been on the rise in China in recent decades as the gap between rich and poor has widened rapidly.
Studies have also described a rise in the prevalence of mental disorders, some of them linked to stress as the pace of life becomes faster and support systems wither.