China car incident: Driver smashes into crowded square, killing at least nine and injuring dozens

54-year-old man with several previous convictions arrested following the incident 

Wednesday 12 September 2018 21:44
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Scene after car driven through crowded square in Hengyang, China

At least nine people have been killed and more than 40 injured after a car ploughed into a crowded square in southern China.

Video footages captured the moments a red car drove onto the square in Mishui town, part of Hengyang city in Hunan province, shortly before 8pm (12pm UK time), the Hengyang government said.

State media showed images of several bodies on the ground as bystanders tended to some of them.

The car was shown with extensive damage and the hazard lights still flashing.

A 54-year-old man, who had served several prison sentences for convictions including arson and assault, was arrested at the scene.

The square was busy as a dancing event was apparently being held there at the time.

There was no indication in the government statement or state media reports that the incident was terror related.

China has experienced violent attacks in public places in recent years, sometimes by people trying to settle personal scores or grievances against society.

Occasionally, the attacks are attributed by the government to militant separatists, though such attacks have become less common in recent years.

An investigation is underway and the motive for the incident remains unknown.

The man remains in custody.

Associated Press contributed to this report

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