11 Killed in China as Car Plows Into Square, Driver Attacks People

By Reuters

BEIJING–11 people were killed and 44 injured after a car plowed into a crowded square in southern China and the driver attacked people with a knife and spade seeking “revenge” on society for previous criminal convictions, reports said on Sept. 13.

The car drove into the square in Mishui town, part of Hengyang city in Hunan province, in the early evening on Sept. 12, the local authorities said in a statement.

The driver, identified by police as 54-year-old Yang Zanyun, drove the car alone onto the square, then attacked people using a spade and a knife, the statement added.

Yang has a long criminal record with previous convictions for selling drugs, theft, and attacking people. Authorities said they believed the man harbored a desire for “revenge on society.”

Yang has been detained, it said, without giving other details.

Video images carried on state media showed several bodies on the ground as bystanders tended to some of them.

The authorities originally said three had people died, but raised the death toll in subsequent statements.

Similar attacks, blamed on mental illness due to alienation from society or a desire to settle scores, have been reported in China. In February, 18 people were injured when a minivan caught fire and mounted the pavement in a busy part of central Shanghai and plowed into pedestrians.

Investigations showed the fire was caused by a driver who was smoking a cigarette inside the vehicle while illegally transporting highly flammable substances.

By Ben Blanchard, Gao Liangping and Brenda Goh.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.