‘Firework device’ prompts bomb scare at US Embassy in Beijing (PHOTO, VIDEO)

‘Firework device’ prompts bomb scare at US Embassy in Beijing (PHOTO, VIDEO)
A “suspected firework device” has exploded near the US Embassy in Beijing, causing a bomb scare, police say. Law enforcement added that no one, apart from the person who set off the firework, was hurt.

A 26-year-old man set off the device in Chaoyang District in the Chinese capital, causing an explosion, police said in a statement, released on Twitter. The person in question received a light hand injury.

Apart from the US Embassy, Chaoyang District is home to many foreign diplomatic missions. The area also hosts the famous Silk Street Market, shopping malls, and restaurant strips.

The US Embassy released a statement, saying there was an explosion outside the embassy compound. “According to the embassy’s regional security officer, there was one individual who detonated a bomb. Other than the bomber, no other people were injured and there was no damage to embassy property.” 

Plumes of smoke can be seen in videos released online. The images also show police and what appears to be something covered by a blanket on the ground. Locals heard a “thunder-like bang” near the building, the Global Times newspaper reported.

“Just heard a loud noise, the delivery boy said there was an explosion at the US embassy,” the Hong Kong Free Press cited a Chinese-speaking witness as saying on the microblogging website Weibo. Another Weibo user wrote: “Heard a big bang while walking on the street after lunch, and then they started setting up police cordons near the American embassy.”

Earlier reports on social media claimed that a man attempted to throw a homemade bomb into the gated compound of the embassy, but the device went off earlier than planned. Chinese police were seen examining a vehicle outside the compound, a witness told Reuters.

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