China’s newspaper the People’s Daily, China reported the incident was not a terrorist attack and was caused by a driver, who was smoking and lost control of the vehicle.
#UPDATE: Minivan accident in #Shanghai was caused by a smoking driver who accidentally lit the vehicle on fire and lost control. The injured driver, 40, is suspected of illegally transporting dangerous goods. 17 injured pedestrians were hospitalized, non are in critical condition pic.twitter.com/NwarHWRZZl
— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) February 2, 2018
Several people died and many were reported injured Friday after a van plowed into the pedestrians in Shanghai. Sources stated the incident took place around 9:15 a.m. local time (8.15 p.m. EST, Thursday) when the van crashed into a crowd on a sidewalk near the gate of the People’s Park in Shanghai Nanjingxilu and Huangbei North Road. It then rammed into a Starbucks outlet, and caught fire.
Several people were reported injured as the field license van “deliberately” crashed into the crowd. The van was reportedly fitted with multiple liquefied gas cylinders. Initial reports suggested the incident was suspected to be a suicide attack.
Since the incident, two videos have been shared by Augustus Manchurius on his Twitter account where emergency services could be seen assisting the injured.