A car that was crushed by an excavator during a dispute at a construction site in Tainan City the other day, was destroyed by fire last night in what police say was a case of spontaneous combustion.
At around 1:40pm, Tuesday afternoon, October 9, a group of men believed to be associated with a waste soil dumping business parked three cars, blocking the entrance to the construction site on Wenping Road in Anping District. A 25 year-old man named Chen accompanied by a group of men made demands regarding the proper handling of waste soil.
After Chen and his associates refused to move their cars, a 35 year-old man named Wu used an excavator to crush Chen’s car, then pushed it into a construction trench.
The two parties left the construction site before police arrived to investigate, but Chen, and the construction contractor, named Liu, went to the police station in the evening to make statements. Chen claimed NT$500,000 in damages for the destruction of the car. Police warned the two parties not to initiate any further conflict, and said they would increase patrols of the area while they investigate further.
Last night, the car, which was still located on the construction site, suddenly caught fire. Police say that they have ruled out the possibility of arson after reviewing security camera footage. According to investigators, no people or vehicles were seen entering or leaving the site. A security guard said that he had smelled smoke, and that the car was found one fire around 5 minutes later. Earlier that day, the lights on the car had been flashing on and off, and the site manager had attempted to turn the lights off, but did not succeed.
While police said that the car had probably self-ignited due to a short circuit, the fire bureau said that an investigation was still pending. Police also said that they are still investigating whether the case involves organized crime.
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