July 20, 2013

Bomb detonated at Beijing airport; 1 injured

The Associated Press

BEIJING — A man in a wheelchair set off a homemade bomb in a crowded terminal at Beijing's main airport on Saturday evening, injuring himself but no one else, Chinese state media and witnesses said.

Order was quickly restored and no flights were affected by the explosion at Terminal 3, the airport'smain international terminal, state-run China Central Television said on its microblog.

The official Xinhua News Agency said a wheel-chaired Chinese man set off the device outside the arrivals exit of Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport at around 6:24 p.m. It said the man was being treated for injuries, but that no one else was hurt in the explosion.

"The explosion sound was loud," said a witness who gave only his family name, Chen. He said he was only 27 yards away from the explosion when it occurred.

Chen said there was only one explosion, and that the terminal was crowded with people. "Since there was no second explosion, many people took out their phones and gathered near the explosion spot to take photos," he said.

He said police responded to the explosion immediately.

CCTV, which also reported that no one else was hurt, identified the man in the wheelchair as Ji Zhongxing, born in 1979 and from the eastern province of Shandong.

It was not immediately clear why the man allegedly set off the bomb. Police are investigating the incident, Xinhua said.

Photos posted by CCTV on its microblog showed the area near the arrivals exit empty and filled with smoke. One photo showed medical staff and police officers gathering at one spot, with a wheelchair sitting on its side a few steps away.

Reached by phone, the airport's news office said it was not aware of the explosion, and airport police declined to answer questions.

Terminal 3, which opened in 2008 just ahead of the Beijing Olympics, is the airport's hub for international flights. United Airlines and American Airlines operate out of the terminal. Calls to both carriers were not answered Saturday night in China.

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