Update: According to a BBC report, a man standing in line for check in was responsible for the attack. He had allegedly carried in a home made explosive device with him man and set the device off once he was inside the terminal. The attacker also threw a bottle containing explosives at passengers, officials added. The man reportedly tried to kill himself as well. He is reported to have pulled a knife out of his pocket and stabbed himself in the neck.
There was panic inside Terminal Two of Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport, one of the busiest in the country, after an explosion rocked the building on Sunday. According to Reuters, three people were injured in the explosion. The incident reportedly happened near the ticketing area of Shanghai Airport shortly after 2 p.m., local time.
Initial investigation by local police authorities revealed that the explosion was most likely caused by “self-made explosive materials.” Airport authorities confirmed that all three people who were injured in the explosion were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Their conditions were not immediately known.
The incident has not affected flight schedules and as of now, flights coming in and going out of Shanghai remain unaffected. A report by Chinese news agency Xinhua confirms that the explosion was minor in nature and that the injuries sustained by people were not life-threatening. An investigation into the incident has already started, they further added.
Meanwhile, new information has come in from witnesses who were near the check in counters where the explosion took place. According to Shanghai Daily, a man who had an object that liked like a cracker in his hand was standing in line when the object exploded. He is also included in the people who were injured. Officials are expected to question the man once he recovers.
The blast took place at check-in area C in Terminal 2, where flights operated by Thai Airways and Philippine Airlines are handled. Reports indicate that the explosion was caused by a homemade explosive device constructed using firecrackers.
A video showing the moment of the explosion has also been posted online. We have embedded it below.
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Another video has also appeared showing military police storming the terminal soon after the blast.
Video from earlier today showing military police storming Shanghai Airport
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The Guardian quotes a traveler who was inside the airport at the time of the incident. The man, identified as Ni Bowen was about to board a Philippine Airlines flight when the explosion rocked the terminal. He recounts the incident.
“At that moment, a beer bottle filled with white smoke rolled right by my feet. I was scared and made off at once.”
Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport is the second-busiest airport in China, second only to Beijing’s Capital International Airport. It handled more than 60 million passengers in 2015, making it the 13th busiest in the world in terms of overall passenger traffic. It serves more than 100 airlines and boasts of flights to more than 210 destinations. Major airlines which use Shanghai Airport as their main hub include China Eastern Airlines and Shanghai Airlines. It is also a major hub for Air China. The airport is also know for its huge cargo handling capacity. As of 2015, the Pudong Airport at Shanghai is the world’s third busiest airport by cargo traffic.
(Image Via AP Photo/Paul Traynor)