Bus arsonist has no excuse

Updated: 2016-01-07 08:08

(China Daily)

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Bus arsonist has no excuse

Live images show a bus burst into flames after it caught fire in Yinchuan, northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region, on Tuesday.[Photo/Weibo]

There can be no excuse for such an inhumane act targeted at innocent people.

The 33-year-old suspect, Ma Yongping, who allegedly set fire to a bus on Tuesday afternoon, killing 17 people and injuring 33 more, reportedly wanted to inflict "revenge on society" after he failed to resolve a dispute over money with a subcontractor on a local construction project.

The heavy casualties in the bus fire in Yinchuan, capital of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region in Northwest China, have once again revealed the psychological scars caused by similar incidents in recent years and exacerbated people's concerns over the safety in such crowded public venues as buses.

This is the most deadly bus fire since the summer of 2013, when a resident in Xiamen, East China's Fujian province, killed 47 people after setting fire to a bus for the same reason.

Even if Ma had become embroiled in a "pitiful situation", as some have claimed on the Internet, that is no excuse for murder. Some may question whether there are the necessary channels whereby those like Ma can seek redress for perceived wrongs, but setting fire to a bus carrying passengers crosses the moral and legal bottom line no matter what pressure a person may be under.

It is unavoidable that there will be this or that kind of dispute between people. But the failure to reach a settlement does not justify any party that feels injured taking matters into their own hands in such a lawless way.

The repeated occurrence of such violent acts in China means the whole of society should act to stop such extreme means from becoming a habitual pattern for those who cannot resolve personal disputes.

And if convicted, Ma should receive his deserved punishment without any lenience to deter others from following his example.