There were reports out of Shanghai, China on February 1, 2018 that a van had rammed into pedestrians in a possible suicide attack.
The modus operandi – a vehicle mowing down innocent bystanders along a busy thoroughfare – has been seen throughout European cities in recent years. The reports out of a possible Shanghai attack hit social media but were not yet confirmed by authorities. Bridget O’Donnell, a writer based in Shanghai, wrote on Twitter, “Explosion appears to have taken place this morning at People’s Square in Shanghai after a van drove towards a Starbucks and caught fire. 18 in hospital and 3 seriously injured.”
“Van plowed into pedestrians in Shanghai. Several dead, many more injured. Gas tanks were found in the van,” another Twitter user wrote.
A Twitter user named Wenshixiu wrote, “At about 9:15 today, there was a suspected suicide attack at the gate of the People’s Park in Shanghai Nanjingxilu and Huangbei North Road. A field licence van deliberately crashed into the crowd, causing many serious injuries. The vehicle is fitted with multiple liquefied gas cylinders.”
Other social media users also posted videos. They showed the van in question on fire.