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Blasts rock Shanghai airport ahead of Disney opening; four injured, suspect hospitalized

A paramilitary bomb disposal expert (background, right) inspects luggage left near a check-in counter after an explosion at Pudong Airport in Shanghai on Sunday.
A paramilitary bomb disposal expert (background, right) inspects luggage left near a check-in counter after an explosion at Pudong Airport in Shanghai on Sunday.
(AFP/Getty Images)

Two explosions rocked a check-in counter at Shanghai’s Pudong airport on Sunday afternoon, injuring at least four people, authorities and local media outlets said.

The blasts came just four days before the opening of Shanghai Disney, the Burbank entertainment giant’s biggest theme park ever. Pudong is the city’s main international airport and the closest to Shanghai Disney Resort, which is set to formally throw open its gates on Thursday. The Shanghai International Film Festival is underway in the city as well.

Closed-circuit security footage showed passengers lined up at Terminal 2 waiting to check in on the third floor at 2:42 p.m.; suddenly, people started to scatter apparently after hearing something alarming. Seconds later, a flash of fire and smoke filled the area, with staff and customers ducking behind the counter for safety.

In this photo released by Bowen Ni, luggage and barriers are scattered in the aftermath of an explosion at Shanghai's Pudong airport Sunday.
In this photo released by Bowen Ni, luggage and barriers are scattered in the aftermath of an explosion at Shanghai’s Pudong airport Sunday.
(Bowen Ni / Associated Press )
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According to the official New China News Agency, there were two explosions, five seconds apart, after which a male suspect slit his own throat. He was hospitalized in intensive care.

Airport authorities are describing the explosives as homemade. It was not immediately clear what the motive for the blast was, but it seemed to be intentional. The Xinmin Evening News quoted a witness who said that just before the blast someone repeatedly shouted “Don’t!” and “Oh!”

After the explosion, heavily armed police arrived at the terminal along with multiple ambulances.

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julie.makinen@latimes.com


UPDATES:

7:30 a.m.: This article has been updated with number of injured rising to four, plus suspect; two explosions; details on suspect.

This article was originally posted at 2:29 a.m.

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