Man Sets Bus Fire for Free Prison Food

A man lit an occupied bus on fire so he could get free meals in prison

A man arrested for setting a bus on fire this week in China told police he did it to get meals in prison.

Being out of work and unable to find a job is a terrible situation, but an unemployed man put several people’s lives at risk this week when he lit an occupied bus on fire because he was hoping for free meals in prison.

According to Shanghaiist, a 30-year-old suspect named Chen had reportedly traveled from Guangxi to Changsha, in China’s Hunan Province, to look for work on Thursday. Around 5:30 Friday morning, Chen emptied a drinking bottle full of fuel in the middle of a bus and set it on fire. He later told police that he was trying to “trigger some trouble to get meals in prison.”

Chen was arrested, and luckily nobody was injured in the blaze. There were only about 30 people on the bus at the time, and as soon as the bus driver saw the flames he was fortunately able to evacuate the vehicle, and put out the fire with an extinguisher. The city transport bureau gave the driver a special bonus of 10,000 yuan, or just over $1,600, saying his quick response had saved the day and prevented casualties.

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Chen’s attack was a copycat of a similar bus arson attack that occurred in Hangzhou, China, just last Saturday, when a man with a bottle full of fuel set an occupied bus on fire in exactly the same way. That attack left 15 people in critical condition.