Shanghai van hits 18 pedestrians outside Starbucks

A van has ploughed into pedestrians outside a Starbucks cafe in a busy public square in Shanghai, China, after catching fire, the BBC reported.

At least eighteen people have been taken to hospital, three of them with serious injuries, authorities say.

The minivan that hit pedestrians in front of a Starbucks store in Shanghai was carrying gas tanks and caught fire at time of the accident, China’s People’s Daily said in a Twitter post.

The fire has been put out now.The fire was caused by the driver, who was smoking a cigarette as he drove and lost control of the vehicle, Shanghai officials say.

The driver has no criminal record and is receiving treatment.

According to a statement posted on micro-blogging site Weibo by Shanghai’s public security bureau, he is suspected of illegally transporting dangerous substances.

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