CHINA AIRPORT BLAST: Large explosion reported at Beijing Int’l Airport

There has been reports of an explosion at China’s Beijing International Airport according to news sources on Twitter.

The explosion is believed to have taken place at the airport’s Terminal 3 building in the arrivals hall. One person is said to have been killed according to a Chinese media report.

Xinhua news agency reported witnesses as hearing a loud bang from the airport’s arrival lounge. 

It is not yet known which group or individual is behind the blast. The People’s Republic of China is fighting against Uighur separatists in the north-western Xinjiang province, home to a Turkic minority who have accused the Beijing government of oppressing their culture and religion, as well as allowing wholesale migration of ethnic Han Chinese into the area, making the Uighurs a minority in their land.

However by 12:38 pm BST it has been reported by the BBC that a man is being treated at a Beijing hospital after allegedly detonating a device in the airport’s grounds.

(c) @hutuzaixian

Smoke from the explosion at Beijing’s International Airport as observed by a witness.

According to one traveller, identified only by their Twitter handle ‘@hutuzaixian’, a disabled man in a wheelchair was spotted clutching an object. He detonated it in the arrivals lounge. The man was seen waiting around on his own, holding an object which appeared to be homemade and wrapped in white plastic. He was not near other passengers at the time and only security personnel were present. The bomb exploded quickly, according to @hutuzaixian, an eyewitness who tweeted pictures of the bomber on Twitter. The picture, which was originally posted on the Chinese social network Weibo, has not been independently verified. Other accounts say that the man was chanting shortly before he activated the bomb.

The explosion took place shortly before 6:30 am local time, reports the South China Morning Post.

A report from Reuters via India’s DNA has stated that the device may have been powered using “black gunpowder”, an easily sourced product in China commonly used for demolition and fireworks. Passengers were evacuated by police after the explosion rocked the terminal. One witness, Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt of the International Crisis Group think tank, reported seeing a “huge explosion followed by panic, smoke and dust at Terminal 3….Lots of excitement, police (were very) angry, shouted crowds back and told everyone to leave,” she added.

At 1:00 pm British Standard Time, Russia Today reported that the bomber had been identified as Zhongxing Ji. He is believed to originate from Shandong province, an affluent part of the country with no known activities around political unrest. His motive is as yet unknown, but a report from Russia Today said that Ji had set off the explosive device as a one-man protest against police who allegedly subjected him to a vicious beating that gave him permanent injuries that required a wheelchair, according to Twitter users.

(c) @alert5/@FluffyFox/Russia Today

The bomber holding the device in plastic bag (pictures from eyewitnesses). Medical staff immediately arrived at the scene. The man’s wheelchair is seen lying on its side in one photo.

A letter purported to be from the bomber has been leaked, according to Russia Today. Its content has not yet been revealed as yet.

Latest reports suggest no casualties, other than the bomber.

State-owned television network CCTV has said that no deaths have been reported, and that no flights in and out of Beijing have been affected. Order has been restored throughout the Airport.

Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) is situated about 20 miles from the centre of the capital. Since last year it has become the second busiest in the world in terms of passenger traffic. It is also known as the “China Gateway” and is the epicentre of China’s rapidly increasing tourism and foreign travel industries.

The airport’s Terminal 3 was built to handle extra passenger numbers for the 2008 Olympic Games, which Beijing hosted. It is the fifth-largest building in the world by area and handles approximately 19,200 luggage items an hour. Beijing airport’s three terminals see 82 million people through their doors every year.

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SOURCES & IMAGE CREDITS:
Half-Eaten Mind on Twitter LINK 
“Explosion reported at Beijing Airport” – ITV (20 July 2013) LINK 
“Explosion in arrivals hall at Beijing airport – media reports” – RT/Autonomous Nonprofit Organization “TV-Novosti” (20 July 2013) LINK 
CNN International on Twitter LINK 
BBC Breaking News on Twitter LINK 
yang on Twitter LINK  (picture link )
“Explosion reported in Beijing Airport arrivals hall” – ITV LINK 
“Explosion heard at Beijing airport -Xinhua” – John Ruwitch & Clarence Fernandez, DNA (via Reuters) (20 July 2013) LINK 
“‘Huge explosion’ rocks Beijing airport in China, witness says” – Ed Flanagan & Ian Johnston, NBC News LINK 
 “BOMB DETONATED AT BEIJING AIRPORT; 1 INJURED” – Associated Press (20 July 2013) LINK 
“Explosion in Beijing airport as man appears to detonate wheelchair” – Harriet Alexander, The Telegraph/Telegraph Media Group Ltd. (20 July 2013) LINK 
“Wheelchair user blasts Beijing airport, injures himself” - RT (Russia Today)/Autonomous Nonprofit Organization “TV-Novosti” (20 July 2013) LINK 
 “Company Introduction” – Beijing Capital International Airport LINK 
 
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Posted on July 20, 2013, in World news and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. so sad what brutality does to a person…

    • It’s very sad, the fact that he had to go to this length just to get his voice heard. At the time I didn’t know this but he had been struggling to get an answer from central gov’t for ages.

      Vijay
      – HalfEatenMind

  2. I’ve seen the news on TV new during the other day…I guess people have been too suppressed during nowadays and thus a lot of tragedies that could have been prevented just happened without any warning.

    Weekend is coming, may yours be a great one. Cheers!! :D

    • Very true, and also I would add that governments need to listen far far more to the people who elected. After all China’s government is supposed to be oriented towards the workers, but as politicians chase big money, they are fast losing sight of what it truly means in politics. It’s the same here in the UK as much as it is in PR China. Oh well, maybe a few regime changes are in order! :P

      You too have a wonderful weekend, and all the best TGIF yay!!

      Vijay
      – HalfEatenMind

      • I am not sure if it is just me, having this feeling that all the governments in this world are more interested in whom those undiscovered oil should belong to, rather than the voices of the people whose votes played an important role to where they are right now…

      • I have that feeling too. That’s what many people think was the main reason the US and UK governments went to war with the Hussein administration of Iraq for…the black gold. Because if it was just for human rights abuses by the Ba’ath party, then they would have had invaded other places i.e. Sudan, Iran, Myanmar too. We just cannot always rely on politicians to protect our ordinary interests.

      • You’re absolutely correct, my friend! (╬ ಠ益ಠ)

  3. my goodness …good to know this

    • Thank you, Kavita.
      I was looking for some news story to write about and was just sitting around on the Twitter grapevine (as you do).
      Then boom “breaking news”..it was coming faster than I can type…my days!
      Really feel sad for the guy, what desperation made him do.

      Vijay
      – HalfEatenMind

      • I can imagine and good to read about it more in your blog really :) As I sometime loose grip on the current events otherwise and wander off in my imaginary world :)

      • Very true, you are a lot like me then…always wandering off in a day dream…the plus side for you is that you also get to live your dreams too :)
        As someone who wants to be a journalist one day, it has always been drilled into me from day one, to keep abreast with current affairs. I am always having my head buried in a newspaper when commuting to/from work. It’s an embedded habit in me. I can’t get enough of being a newshound, as we call it here in Britain.

        Take care and I really look forward to seeing more of your travels and poetry. It’s a superb feeling to be immersed in a Talking Experience :)
        Vijay
        – HalfEatenMind

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