Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China was evacuated on Monday after a car plowed into a crowd of people, catching fire as well as killing three people. While Beijing police and government spokespeople provided little detail to Reuters, pictures of the incident's aftermath have begun to surface online. State-run media confirmed the events. 11 others were injured.
It's unclear exactly who was behind the wheel or what motives they had, if any. Here's what apparently happened:
The Reuters witness said he saw fire engines, an ambulance and numerous police cars heading in the direction of the fire, which sent a plume of black smoke into the sky. The main road through the square was closed.
The fire was on the north side of the square close to the main entrance of the Forbidden City, upon which hangs a portrait of the founder of Communist China, Mao Zedong. It was not clear if the fire was on the road or the pavement or the square.
A foreign tourist who was on the square and asked not to be identified said she heard an explosion followed by a fire.
Images of what happened did begin to surface on Weibo—a Chinese equivalent of Twitter—following the chaos.
Incident in Beijing's Tiananmen Square today- details still sketchy but pictures emerging: pic.twitter.com/0Kaynox3zf— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) October 28, 2013
The scene outside Tiananmen a minute ago. Clean up in progress. pic.twitter.com/wI1cty3Co1— Philip Wen (@PhilipWen11) October 28, 2013
刚刚看到网友发来的照片，天安门前有人自焚 pic.twitter.com/MhPaVBQPcC— 成秋波 (@cheng_lao) October 28, 2013
Some users described the event as a self-immolation, but definitive details are not yet apparent.