Chinese police release details on bombing suspect
BEIJING – The suspect blamed for a series of blasts that killed 108 people in northern China was already on the run for allegedly murdering a woman in the nation’s south, the government-run China Daily said Monday.
Authorities in the city of Shijiazhuang are offering a $6,000 reward for clues leading to the capture of Jin Ruchao, who is the lone suspect in Friday’s explosions, the newspaper said.
Wanted posters have been distributed posted throughout the industrial city of 8.5 million, the report said.
A city official, who refused to give his name, said Jin was still at large as of Monday morning. Police declined to comment.
The four blasts struck within an hour of each other, damaging four workers’ dormitories up to several miles apart.
Most deaths came at a five-story workers’ dormitory of the No. 3 Cotton Mill, where authorities now say Jin lived.
The report said Jin, 40, has been running from police since March 6, when he allegedly killed a woman, identified as Wei Zhihua, in the southern province of Yunnan.
The blast at the No. 3 Cotton Mill dormitory was so strong it flattened the building, which was home to 48 families, and blew out windows in the mill’s other dormitories nearby.
Police and soldiers were still picking through the rubble looking for victims and for clues about the blast. Most of the 38 injured were still being treated at local hospitals.
Residents of the mill’s other dormitories laid flowers near the piles of broken concrete and glass, the China Daily said.
The other explosions all hit workers’ dormitories at other government-run companies in Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province. Damage at those buildings was less severe.
Dependent on heavy industry for its jobs, the city has been hit hard by a wave of closures and job cuts at China’s state enterprises.
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