Vietnam counter-terrorism police probe bus station blast

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A bus station of Phuong Trang Bus Company in the southern city of Can Tho is full of dusts after an explosion on February 28

The Ministry of Public Security on Friday sent a counter-terrorism team to investigate an that injured three people at a bus station explosion in the Mekong Delta City of Can Tho the day before.

The main suspect, La Hoang Sang, 28, was detained by Can Tho police on Friday.

Sang was one of the injured, the others being his girlfriend Duong Thi Thuy Trang, 19, and another passenger Tran Van Thanh, 27.

Footage from security cameras at the bus terminal waiting room of Phuong Trang Bus Company in Ninh Kieu District on Thursday showed Sang and Trang entered the site, carrying a backpack, colonel Phan Minh Tan, vice director of Can Tho's police department told Thanh Nien.

A moment later, when the couple and three other passengers were waiting for the bus back to Ho Chi Minh City, the bag somehow caught fire and exploded, Tan said.

All the victims were sent to Can Tho General Hospital for burns treatment, but were discharged later that same day.

Sang told police that the bag contained flammable chemical substances and a glue tube. He had planned to use them for an experiment in which the substance mixture would be set on fire to create some white precipitate, Sang claimed.

He said the substances were one kilogram of chlorate kali, one kilogram of activated carbon powder, one half kilogram of sulfur, adding that he found the formula on the Internet.

Chlorate kali, activated carbon and sulfur can be mixed to create gunpowder.

chlorate kali and charcoal


Sang also said he had learnt from the Internet that these substances can be used to make simple rocket warhead.

According to Can Tho police's initial conclusion, it was not an explosion aimed for causing damages.

But, Sang was taken into custody on charges of "illegally keeping and transporting explosive materials."

Police have also sent samples collected at the site to the Southern Criminal Science Institute for tests.

The case is being investigated.

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