27 dead in Kunming rail station violence

Updated: 2014-03-01 23:18



27 dead in Kunming rail station violence

Police cardon off a site of an attack at a railway station in Kunming, Southwest China's Yunnan province, March 1, 2014. [Photo by Xue Dan/chinadaily.com.cn]

Twenty-seven people were confirmed dead and 109 others injured Saturday in a railway station attack in southwest Chinese city of Kunming, authorities said.

It was an organized, premeditated violent terrorist attack, according to the authorities.

A group of unidentified knife-wielding people attacked the Kunming Railway Station in the capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province at around 9 p.m., causing death and injuries, said the city police.

A Xinhua reporter on the spot said several suspects have been controlled, while police are still investigating people in the station.

The reporter said that firefighters and medical workers have arrived on the scene, and injured people have been rushed to hospital for emergency treatment. The arterial road of the station has been cordoned off.

A doctor with the Kunming No.1 People's Hospital told Xinhua over the phone that medical workers of the hospital are busy treating the injured, adding that they are not still unsure of the exact number of casualties.

Another doctor with the hospital told Xinhua on condition of anonymity  that the injured are still being sent to the hospital.

According to Xinhua reporters at the hospital, a dozen of bodies can be seen at the hospital. As of 0:00 a.m. of Sunday, more than 60 victims in the attack have been sent to the hospital, emergency registration records showed.

Yang Haifei, a local resident of Yunnan, told Xinhua that he was attacked and sustained injuries on his chest and back.

Yang said he was buying a ticket when he saw a group of people rush into the station, most of them in black, and start attacking others.

"I saw a person come straight at me with a long knife and I ran away with everyone," he said, adding that people who were slower were severely injured.

"They just fell on the ground," he said.

At the guard pavilion in front of the station, three victims were crying. One of them named Yang Ziqing told Xinhua that they were waiting in the station square for a 10:50 p.m. train to Shanghai, but had to escape when a knife-wielding man suddenly came at them.

"My two town-fellows' husbands have been rushed to hospital, but I can't find my husband, and his phone went unanswered," Yang sobbed.

Pictures on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, show local police patrolling the station. Bodies in blood can be spotted on the ground in the pictures. Doctors were seen transporting injured people to a local hospital.

A Weibo user screen-named "HuangY3xin-Dione," who was dining in a restaurant near the railway station, said that she was "scared to death," adding that she saw a group of men in black with two long knives chasing people.

According to Kunming railway bureau, train departures have not been affected.

The incident has fueled massive anger among the people across China, with netizens severely condemning the violent attacks on social websites like Sina Weibo and WeChat, a popular instant messaging service.

The attacks at the station might have created blood and violence, but it has also awakened a strong sense of justice and strength among us. We strongly condemn violence, and we call on people to stop circulating bloody pictures, read a message on WeChat.

On Sina Weibo, netizens are spreading the word of stopping the circulation of bloody photos on  the Internet.

"Stop publishing bloody photos, because that's just what the thugs want," a Weibo user with the screenname "Fuzhaolouzhu" wrote on her Weibo account.

Another Weibo user screennamed "CakeryCupcakes" said she hopes mainstream media could provide immediate and transparent report.

"We should not forward unconfirmed information and bloody pictures to avoid more panics," wrote the user.

The Security Management Bureau under the Ministry of Public Security called the incident a "severe violent crime" at its official Sina Weibo account.

Now, the situation is gradually going stable, and the injured have been treated, while police are investigating the case, it said.

"No matter what motives the murderers hold, the killing of innocence people are against kindness and justice. The police will crack down the crimes in accordance with the law without any tolerance. May the dead rest in peace," it read.

The Kunming Railway Station, located in the southeastern area of the city, is one of the largest railway stations in southwest China. It was put into operation in 1958.

Related: Gunmen storm Kunming railway station

27 people were killed and 109 others injured after a group of unidentified armed men stormed a railway station of Yunnan's provincial capital Kunming on Saturday night, the city's police said.

The Ministry of Public Security has dispatched teams to Kunming to investigate.

Police sealed off Kunming's railway station after the attack. Bloodstains could be seen in the ticketing hall, which was strewn with luggage.

Many people with stab wounds were being treated when a China Daily reporter arrived at the Kunming No 1 People's Hospital around 11 pm. Many of the injured were migrant workers, including elderly people and children.

Chen Guizhen said at the hospital that she saw her husband killed by three men wearing masks. The woman, who is in her 50s, and her family members were sitting at the railway station square when the masked attackers came to the seats next to them. Suddenly, the men pulled out knives hidden inside their coats and attacked her husband.

After 11:30 pm, "irrelevant people" were not allowed in the hospital. Beijing Street — one of the city's main streets, which runs in front of the railway — was reopened to pedestrians at around 11:40 pm, while vehicles were still not allowed to enter.

Yunnan's Party secretary Qin Guangrong rushed to the scene before 11 pm to guide the rescue work and investigation. Local TV station K6 asked people to donate blood for the injured.

Li Yingqing and Guo Anfei contributed to this story. 

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