More details have emerged surrounding this morning's van crash in People's Square.
At 8:57 a.m. today, a van with a Jiangxi Province license plate was driving eastward from West Nanjing Road. When it reached the intersection with Xinchang Road, the vehicle caught fire and lost control, plowing into the sidewalk. The accident caused the driver and 17 pedestrians to suffer various degrees of injuries. According to the preliminary investigation, the driver surnamed Chen (male, age 40, from Jiangxi Province, an employee with a Shanghai metal product company, with no prior criminal record) was allegedly carrying hazardous material illegally and smoking while driving, which caused the fire. As of now, the injured pedestrians have all been hospitalized with none suffering life-threatening injuries. The cause of the accident is under further investigation.
According to state-run newspaper People's Daily, the van was carrying numerous gas tanks when the crash occurred. Six people were said to have been inside the vehicle at the time of the accident.
The scene has since been cleared, according to NPR's Shanghai correspondent Rob Schmitz:
This story is developing. More updates on this story as we receive it.