Tiananmen Square

China Investigating Tiananmen Crash

Speculation online of a planned attack

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A vehicle plowed through dozens of pedestrians and policemen near Tiananmen Square at lunchtime Monday, then crashed in front of Tiananmen Gate and burst into flame.

Five people were believed dead — the driver, two passengers, a female tourist from the Philippines and a male tourist from South China's Guangdong province — and 38 people were injured, reported Qianlong.com, a Beijing government news website.Authorities cleared Tiananmen Square, home to Mao's tomb, after the crash.

An official investigation is underway, reported Xinhua, the state news agency. The unusual nature of the incident, and the way the vehicle had been driven some distance along the sidewalk, injuring and scattering pedestrians, quickly led to speculation online that the vehicle was used in a deliberate attack.