BEIJING (AP) — A fire on a commuter bus in northeastern China killed at least 10 people and injured 17 on Wednesday, officials said, in the country's second deadly bus fire in less than a week.
The fire broke out aboard the bus carrying workers to their company in the city of Jilin early Wednesday morning as the vehicle neared a highway entrance, the municipal government said on its microblog.
The National Ministry of Public Security said 43 people were aboard the 56-person shuttle bus for the Fukang Wood Co. at the time of the blaze.
There was no immediate word on the cause of the fire, and police were investigating.
But the ministry warned against any rumors linking the fire to terrorism, days after a group of knife-wielding assailants slashed indiscriminately at crowds at a train station in the southwestern city of Kunming, killing 29. Authorities have condemned the Kunming assault as an act of terrorism.
The Wednesday fire coincided with the opening of the annual National People's Congress in Beijing, which started with a moment of silence for the victims of the Saturday attack.
China in the past has seen several fires on public buses, which turned out to be deliberately set by passengers carrying grudges against people, the government or society.
Last week, a man suspicious of his wife's infidelity confessed to boarding a city bus in southwestern China and setting the vehicle on fire. Six people died and 35 were injured in that incident.