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Police say man rigged motorbike to explode

Update: January, 16/2012 - 09:14

BAC NINH — A man allegedly to blame for a motorbike explosion in northern Bac Ninh Province last month which killed an expectant mother and her four-year-old daughter was detained and prosecuted on Saturday, according to provincial police.

Nguyen Duc Tiem, aged 34, was accused of mounting a pack of explosives on Nguyen Thi Quynh's motorbike which led to the explosion.

Head of the Criminal Police Department Nguyen Van Vinh said that Tiem was arrested last Friday night after a one - month criminal investigation.

Tiem, born in northern Hai Duong Province, is the brother-in-law of Quynh's husband. The two couples lived together in a house in Bac Ninh Provice.

Following lingering quarrels between the two families, Tiem planted the explosive on Quynh's Honda Dream motorbike on November 30. Quynh started the engine the next morning and the motorbike exploded, killing her and injuring her daughter who died in hospital 13 days later.

On December 12, the provincial police started a criminal investigation into the case after the Forensic Institute found traces of explosives and fuses.

Tiem was also found to have allegedly planted a bomb on the motorbike of a friend, Le Duc Trung, in Hai Duong Province in June 2010. The explosion amputated Trung's leg.

The suspect remained calm after the incident, and even visited Quynh's daughter in hospital.

Lawyer Nguyen Hong Bach told VnExpress online newspaper yesterday that Tiem could be sentenced to death for his crime.

Experts raise questions

Meanwhile, experts are questioning the results of tests by examiners at the HCM City University of Technology on the causes of sudden explosions in vehicle gas tanks.

The testers said the sudden fires might be caused by fuel mixed with methanol or ethanol in tanks that were nearly empty.

Dr Huynh Quyen of the university's Oil Refinery Technology Research Centre was quoted in Tuoi Tre newspaper as saying that fires could occur when only 5 per cent of the tank was full.

He said the air above the fuel in the tank reacted with methanol to produce hydrocarbon, which explodes at a low temperature.

Quyen emphasised that tanks exploded when the weather was cold.

However, vehicles have burst into flames even in locations with warm weather and when the tankers were full of fuel.

Dr Dao Quoc Tuy of the Ha Noi University of Technology said the university's theory could be correct, but noted that several vehicles had burst into flames with a full tank of fuel.

According to Assoc Prof Le Hoai Duc of the Ha Noi University of Transport, the theory espoused by the testers would not occur in practice.

Dr Bui Hong Duong, dean of Ship Engine Department at the HCM City University of Transport, said he suspected the main cause to be the quality or content of the fuel.

The university conducted the tests after the HCM City Department of Science and Technology asked experts there to determine why fires had broken out suddenly in cars and motorbikes. — VNS

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