HONG KONG — A van slammed into pedestrians on a sidewalk outside a Starbucks in Shanghai on Friday, injuring at least 18 people, the Chinese state news media reported.
The crash occurred just before 9 a.m. on Nanjing Road West, near People’s Park in the heart of the city, according to Central China Television, the state broadcaster. Eighteen people were taken to the hospital, including three who were seriously injured, it said.
The Shanghai police said the driver, a 40-year-old man surnamed Chen, worked for a metalware company in Shanghai and had no criminal history. He “lost control and drove onto the sidewalk,” injuring 17 pedestrians and himself. None of the injured pedestrians is in mortal danger, the police said.
A witness told a reporter from The Paper, a local news outlet, that the van had been carrying fuel canisters. The police said that the driver had been smoking in the vehicle, setting off a fire inside, and that he was suspected of “illegally transporting dangerous substances.”
The fire was extinguished quickly, The Paper reported, and it did not appear that any of the canisters exploded.
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