Bus fires have become a trend in China. In Xiamen a man set fire to a bus, killing himself and 46 others. In 2009, 27 people died, including the arsonist, in the city of Chengdu.
These acts are seen as part of a general social unrest. Some believe this tension comes from the growing gap in wealth in China’s society.
Others claim the fires are set by ordinary people who feel denied justice.
At least one was set by a man who suspected his wife of infidelity. Half a dozen people died as a result, and 35 people were hurt.
In that case, 77 passengers were taken to the hospital. A 12-year old girl claimed she could smell gasoline before the fire began and climbed out a back window to safety.
Whatever the reason for these attacks, it is easy to imagine some people do not feel safe.
In Yibin City, China, a bus caught fire in the southwest of China’s Sichuan province. Most of the passengers escaped, but one elderly man was trapped on board.
A restaurant manager was able to get him to safety. Most striking about the video is the way in which bystanders sprang into action in order to effect his escape.
One man can be seen rushing to the bus windows, smashing them in order to help battle the fire.
He would leap back from the smashed window as another man would run forward with a bucket of water to toss into the open window.
It was these efforts rescued the elderly man. Firefighters arrived shortly after and put out the fire.
Miraculously, the only person injured was the bus driver. Even his injuries were minor, and not life-threatening — amazing, considering how intense the blaze was.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
In 2013, a similar fire occurred. The man suspected to have started the blaze is believed to have killed himself in the fire as well. He was the only person killed in the blaze.
The sight of the bystanders leaping into action was deeply inspiring, and we can only hope that good Samaritans will be on hand for future accidents.
No matter how many people out there are threatening to hurt others, there are always the brave ones, the helpers, who step forward to prove that there is still good in this world.
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