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2 killed in bus explosions in SW China
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The explosion scene at Panjiawan. 

Local police say that preliminary evidence indicates that two separate explosions on public buses in downtown Kunming City, southwest China's Yunnan Province, which killed two people and injured 14 on Monday morning, were deliberately caused.

Both explosions in the city involved Route 54. One blast occurred on West Renmin Road at 7:10 a.m., while the second was at the nearby intersection of Changyuan Road and West Renmin Road at 8:05 a.m.

The dead were identified as Wang Dezhi, 30, a woman from Mouding in Chuxiong, Yunnan Province, and Chen Shifei, 26, a man from the province's Lijiang Educational Science College in Dayan Town, according to sources with the Yunnan Provincial Bureau of Public Security.

The area around Panjiawan Bus Stop, the site of the first explosion, was littered with broken glass. The front of the destroyed bus could be seen, and there was blood on the bus deck.

Zhang Lin, a witness, recalled that as she was about to go to work in a nearby building just after 7 a.m., she was startled by a huge bang.

"At first, I took it for an earthquake. But soon, I looked through an office window and saw the left side of a bus was blown off," said Zhang. "At that time, there were a dozen people waiting at the bus stop, but it was not easy to tell how many were inside the bus."

The police arrived at Panjiawan Bus Stop five minutes later, followed by ambulances, according to Zhang.

Han Guangming, husband of Wang, the woman killed in the Panjiawan explosion, said they were en route home to celebrate the birthday of their child.

"My wife is gone, and I'm injured, I feel it is the end of the world," said Han.

According to police sources, the first explosion caused one death and injured 10 people, one critically.

As the first explosion happened during the morning rush hour, it drew a crowd of 1,000 or so onlookers.

The police condoned off the scene shortly after the explosion and spent quite some time in dispersing the crowd. The wreckage was cleared by 9 a.m.

The second explosion occurred when that bus was near its last stop, causing one death and four injuries, according to witnesses.

All the injured have been hospitalized.

Authorities in Yunnan ordered transport departments to tighten security by increasing patrols and setting up checkpoints to keep the perpetrators from fleeing. Security has also been stepped up at all border points.

(Xinhua News Agency July 21, 2008)


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