(Recasts, adds detail on cause of fire)
BEIJING, June 8 A suicidal man started a fire on
a bus in China that killed 47 people, state media said on
Saturday, a disaster that came just days after 120 people died
in a fire at a poultry plant.
The bus caught fire during the rush hour on Friday as it was
on elevated tracks in the coastal city of Xiamen, the Ministry
of Public Security said, labelling it a "serious criminal case".
State television said Xiamen resident Chen Shuizong started
the fire. A suicide note was found at his home and he was among
those killed, it said.
"Chen Shuizong felt his life was not as he wished it and he
was profoundly pessimistic, so he gave vent to his anger by
setting the fire," the television added in a brief report.
On Monday, a fire at a poultry slaughterhouse in
northeastern China killed 120 people. Authorities said safety
management at the plant was a "total mess" and have detained two
President Xi Jinping, visiting California for a summit with
U.S. President Barack Obama, demanded his government pay closer
attention to preventing fires, the Xinhua news agency said.
"Life is precious, and lives cannot be sacrificed in the
pursuit of development," it cited him as saying. "Lessons must
be learned from this spilling of blood and bitter experience."
Buses have been targeted before in China.
In 2009 a passenger lit petrol on a bus in Chengdu, killing
27 people and injuring dozens. Also that year, 24 people died
in a shuttle bus fire in Wuxi, near Shanghai, started by a
disgruntled steel worker.
In 2005 a 42-year-old farmer with terminal lung cancer set
off a crude bomb on a bus in a suicide attack that wounded 31.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)