Saturday 21 April 2018

Drunk tractor driver who killed 11 in rampage could face death penalty

Simon Foxall in Beijing

A drunk killed 11 people when he went on an hour-long rampage driving a tractor in China, smashing into shops and vehicles.

Li Xianliang first killed a customer at the Hongyuan coal depot in Hebei province's Yuanshi county where he worked driving the shovel loader.

Li (38) had been drinking, then drove down the road, hitting cars, buses, motorcycles, trucks and roadside shops.

He eventually stopped in a field, where police subdued him, and will face the death penalty if convicted of murder.

Eight people were killed outright and 20 injured, with three others dying in hospital.

China has seen a string of apparently unrelated rampage attacks this year, often by knife-wielding maniacs targeting nurseries and elementary schools. Fears over copycat attacks led the government to limit coverage about the assaults, which have left more than two dozen people dead and scores wounded.

The attacks, which have also included a courthouse shooting and random slashing attacks at markets and on a train, have prompted an increase in public security and calls for more attention to be paid to mental health problems that often go undiagnosed.

Irish Independent

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