One week to the day after two bus bombs killed two and injured 14 on two number 54 buses on Renmin Xi Lu in Kunming, the city was on edge once more as rumors of another explosion Monday night – this time a K2 bus – spread like wildfire via text messages and phone calls.
Local media is reporting that "another abnormal incident occurred" Monday night at 8:40 – once again on Renmin Xi Lu – near the intersection of Haiyuan Lu. At a press conference this morning, Kunming police spokesman Liu Zheng said the incident was a tire blowout.
According to local reports, the bus in question was driven away shortly after police and ambulances arrived at 8:50. Some people at the scene said they thought there was an explosion on the bus, while others said a tire had exploded.
Unlike last week's explosions, which shattered all the windows on the two buses that were attacked, last night's bus in question reportedly had no broken windows, with only an oil stain on the road left behind after it left the scene.
Last Wednesday, a video purportedly released by the Turkestan Islamic Party claimed responsibility for the July 21 bus attacks in Kunming, saying further attacks would take place throughout China, aimed at stopping the Olympics. A spokesman for the Yunnan Public Security Bureau said no connection had been found between the bus attacks and terrorist organizations.
Despite any evidence that last night's incident was a deliberate man-made explosion, bars, restaurants and entertainment venues were on high alert and searching customer bags thoroughly.
In what may or may not be a related event, three China Southern flights – two to Guiyang and one to Changsha – were delayed at 9:40 Monday night at Kunming Wujiaba International Airport for "weather reasons".
The passengers, numbering more than 170, were not provided with food or lodging by China Southern, and slept in the departure hall or elsewhere at the airport after some took taxis to a hotel China Southern told them they had prepared for them, only to be turned away by the hotel at 2 am Tuesday morning.
This morning, several of the passengers clashed with airport police, smashing computers, desks and other items.