Text Messages Sent Before Two Bus Bombings

July 24, 2008 Updated: April 29, 2012

CHINA—Mainland media revealed some Kunming residents had received mobile phone text messages warning of bombings, which took place on two buses in southern China’s Kunming City the morning of July 21. The incident has been publicized by the government to justify the extremely tight security measures in Beijing for the coming Olympics.

The text messages have been confirmed by the police. The incident is under investigation.

According Kunming police, the two bus explosions were caused by men who deliberately tied time bombs under passenger seats. It was determined that the bombs were made using ammonium nitrate, a common fertilizer that is often used in homemade bombs. It was reported that two were killed and another 14 injured by the two blasts.

This mobile phone text message, was received by some Kunming residents before the explosions, “The Total Mobilization of Ants …  hopes citizens who receive this text message don’t take the buses on lines 54, 64, and 84…”

A website in Southern China reported on July 22 that Ms. Feng who lives near Minshan was the first to receive the text message. Feng received it on her cell phone at 5:32 a.m., July 21, 2008 from an unfamiliar number.

Feng forgot the message soon because she thought it was just a joke. She started to believe the reliability of the message after she heard the news of the bus explosions.

Mr. Wang who lives in Zhaojiadui had a similar experience. He received the message at 6:20 a.m. Bus 54 exploded around 7:00 a.m.

Police say the incidents are still under investigation. Whether the sender is the perpetrator and whether the message is a deliberate warning are still uncertain.