Xiamen bus fire claims 47 lives


Seven students were confirmed dead in a fatal bus fire that occurred on last Friday in east China's Xiamen City, local authorities said Monday.

There were 15 students on board when the fire broke out. They all participated in college entrance examination on last Friday in a school in Jimei District and returned by taking the BRT (bus rapid transit) bus, said Guo Xianwen, deputy director of Xiamen Municipal Education Bureau.

Seven students on the bus were confirmed dead through DNA identification. Another seven injured students are still receiving medical treatment in local hospitals, Guo said.

The education bureau said that the seven injured students, who couldn't take part in the two-day college entrance examination on last Saturday could enter colleges based on their examination scores on the first day and day-to-day performance in schools.

DNA comparison of one reported missing student is under way, Guo added.

As of Monday, the fire, which was allegedly set by a pessimistic citizen, Chen Shuizong, on last Friday has claimed 47 lives and hospitalized 34 others, and 15 of whom, now receiving medical treatment in the First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University and the 174th Hospital of Chinese People's Liberation Army, are in critical condition, according to Xiamen's health department.

One injured person was discharged from hospital on Sunday, and another one is expected to leave hospital this afternoon, the health department said.

Names of the 47 deceased haven't been published.

The Health Department of Xiamen City has dispatched psychologists to carry out psychological interventions for the injured and relatives of the deceased.

Chen Shuizong, born in 1954 and a native of Xiamen, was identified as the arsonist of the fire, according to the information office of the city government.

Xiamen police found notes in Chen's house, which showed he was unhappy and pessimistic about his life and planned the arson to vent personal grievances.