Driver who killed nine people at Shenzhen airport ‘panicked after hearing car horns’
Children and their grandparents are among the victims who were struck by a car on five-lane overpass as they watched aircraft at Shenzhen Baoan International Airport, police say.
The driver of a car that crashed killing nine people and injuring 23 others as they stood watching aircraft beside Shenzhen Baoan International Airport, had reportedly panicked after hearing continuous car horns behind her, police said today.
Xinhua reported that children and their grandparents were among the victims.
The female driver, 24, from Chongqing, had allegedly been driving her car at a high speed at 3.20pm yesterday when she lost control on a bend on the five-lane overpass, the news agency reported.
Her vehicle crashed through a safety barrier and then careered a further 50 metres into a group of people standing on the road.
Eyewitnesses said the dead and injured had been standing on the overpass to gain a good view of aircraft using the airport. Some of the victims were knocked over the edge of the overpass after being struck by the car, Xinhua said.
The boyfriend of the driver, who was seriously injured in the crash, told Shenzhen police that she had lost control when she panicked upon hearing cars sounding their horns behind her.
The driver had held a licence for three years and had never had an accident before, Xinhua reported.
Locals said in the past security guards had permitted only vehicles to use the overpass.
However, for the past two months no guards had been on duty and motorcyclists and pedestrians had also started to use the overpass.
Xinhua said Shenzhen police were blaming the accident on the alleged high speed of the driver, and also the fact that people had been standing on the overpass.
However, a lack of clear traffic guidelines on the use of the overpass from both the airport and road traffic management departments was also likely to have contributed to the accident, Xinhua reported.
The tragedy also raised doubts about security and safety levels at the airport, which is an important transport hub, it said.