Gasoline bomb explodes in China bank, hurts dozens

A bank cashier fired for stealing money threw a gasoline bomb inside the bank in northwestern China on Friday, injuring dozens of people, some of whom jumped from a fifth-story window to escape, the local government said.

The suspect, Yang Xianwen, fled but was caught by police about nine hours later a short distance away, the government said.

Employees of the Tianzhu County Rural Credit Cooperative Union were meeting at about 8 a.m. when Yang threw the gasoline bomb, the propaganda office of the county's Communist Party said in a statement.

It said more than 40 people were hurt, 19 seriously. It said some of the injured jumped from the meeting room window onto a three-story building.

The statement said Yang was fired last month for embezzling bank money.

A witness reached by phone and the official Xinhua News Agency described ambulances and police streaming to the scene in the county seat of Tianzhu in Gansu province.

The injured, with visible burns, were carried out of the building on stretchers, according to a witness quoted by Xinhua.

A woman who answered the phone at the Tianzhu County Hospital's security office told The Associated Press about 20 victims had been sent there. She did not know how seriously they were hurt. Like many Chinese, she refused to give her name.

Tianzhu, with about 200,000 people, is an area of pasturelands stuck between deserts and mountains in Gansu province about 450 miles (725 kilometers) west of Beijing.

More than 80 police were involved in the search for Yang, who was cornered at the county waterworks, the county government said.