Three and a half years in prison for three deaths due to fire in Nanjing electric car

  Court: Car owners know that there are hidden dangers in modifying electric vehicles

  In the early morning of August 8, 2020, a fire caused by an electric bicycle occurred in a residential building in Jinling Village, Gulou District, Nanjing City, which caused the unfortunate death of three residents upstairs.

Recently, the Nanjing Intermediate People's Court made a final ruling on the case.

Because the appellant Lu voluntarily withdrew the appeal, the Nanjing Intermediate People's Court upheld the original judgment of the first-instance court that sentenced him to three years and six months in prison for the crime of fire.

  The Ziniu News reporter learned from the judgment document of the case that the electric bicycle was purchased by Lu from others "second-hand". In order to increase the cruising range and increase the driving speed, the battery pack structure and control circuit of this car Modifications have been made, and this is the first time the situation has been disclosed.

Yangtze Evening News/Ziniu News reporter Wan Chengyuan

Three residents upstairs killed in fire caused by electric car in small area

  The electric vehicle fire that killed three people occurred at the entrance of the first floor of Unit 405, Jinling Village, Gulou District, Nanjing.

According to the police report issued by the Nanjing Fire Rescue Detachment at noon that day, the fire broke out at 5:14 in the morning. The detachment command center immediately dispatched forces to the scene for disposal, and the fire was extinguished at 5:38.

  On the day of the incident, a reporter from Ziniu News rushed to the incident area and saw that the place of fire was a six-story residential building. The corridor on the first floor of Unit 405 was smoked black, and clear traces of burns could be seen on the facade of the residential building. , Continues to the third floor.

Residents around said that the three victims lived on the third floor. Among them were a mother and daughter. The mother was in her 30s and her daughter was still in elementary school.

Another young woman should be their relative. She lived here temporarily during the summer, but she did not expect to encounter misfortune.

The male owner of this family escaped because he was not at home at work.

  After the incident, the Material Evidence Appraisal Office of the Gulou Branch of the Nanjing Public Security Bureau issued a forensic medical appraisal document, proving that the three victims were burned to death during their lifetime.

  In the morning, after the inspection by the Nanjing Fire Rescue Detachment, there were 8 over-fired electric bicycles and 2 bicycles at the scene. Among them, the front wheel tires of the No. 9 car (that is, the electric car parked by Lu) were partially burned and missing, and some were still missing. Remaining, only the surface of the rear wheel is overfired, the south side of the rear trunk is burned and lost, and the north side is left.

The battery compartment has been modified to lose its airtightness

  After the fire ignited the surrounding electric cars

  After the fire broke out, it quickly aroused widespread public concern.

People have speculated about the cause of the fire. Many people believed that it might be caused by illegal charging. After the incident, some residents reported that there was a "flying line" problem in the community before, but the official has not announced the results of the investigation.

  The reporter noticed that the cause of the electric car's fire was disclosed for the first time in the judgment document of the case.

It was identified that the source of the fire was the pedal of the electric bicycle parked by Lu. The cause of the fire was "the battery compartment at the pedal of the electric bicycle lost the airtight and fixed function after being modified, so that the battery broke out and caused the fire to splash out. Burn the electric cars around."

  The on-site inspection revealed that the battery compartment of this electric vehicle is a metal shell with two battery packs inside. The front battery pack is generally intact, and the metal cover of the rear battery pack is seriously overfired and has been separated from the battery pack.

  The video analysis opinion issued by the Tianjin Fire Material Evidence Appraisal Center of the Fire and Rescue Bureau of the Emergency Management Department proved that according to the analysis of the video materials sent, no suspicious persons were seen to have abnormal behaviors around the fire site before the fire, and no flying fires or falling objects were seen in the air. Wait for the external fire source.

Before the fire, the electric bicycle on fire showed a gush of grayish white smoke, and then began to experience electrical fault arc discharge and flashing phenomena, and finally developed into violent combustion, which is in line with the characteristics of an out-of-control lithium battery fire.

  On August 22, 2020, Lu was under criminal detention on suspicion of the crime of fire, and was arrested on September 4 of the same year.

 The car was purchased "used"

  Modified privately to improve speed and battery life

  So, why should this electric bike be modified?

The Ziniu News reporter learned that the court found that the modification was to increase the cruising range and speed of the electric vehicle. The modified parts included the battery pack structure and control circuit of the vehicle.

  This electric bicycle was first bought by Liu from the store at a price of more than 7,000 yuan.

The electric car company does not allow private modification of the core parts, nor does it allow the replacement of third-party accessories. In order to modify the car, Liu took a lot of work.

  Originally, the battery compartment of this electric car could only hold one battery. After Liu asked someone to remodel it, he could install two batteries, but after the battery compartment was refitted, the pedal could not be covered.

To this end, Liu also asked someone to remove the plastic plate on the foot pedal, cut off the six-point support feet with scissors, and then smoothed it with a cutting machine. In addition, he modified the controller and so on.

  Of course, after some operation, this electric car also "value-added" a lot. Liu sold it to Lu for 13,000 yuan.

  The court found that Lu was aware of the modification of this electric car.

In addition, he also knows that the modified battery compartment is not the original battery of the electric vehicle brand.

 The first instance sentenced to three and a half years for the crime of fire

  Voluntary withdrawal during the second instance

  Faced with the facts and charges that the public prosecutors accused him of committing the crime of fire, Lu expressed no objection.

However, the defender pointed out that what Lu bought and used was indeed a modified electric car, but it was not foreseen that this car would cause a fire when buying and using it.

  Regarding the defense opinion, the court of first instance held that Lu was well aware of the modification of the electric vehicle.

When Lu bought an electric vehicle that was modified privately, he should foresee the potential safety hazards and the possible consequences, so he was subjectively negligent and should constitute the crime of fire.

  The defender also proposed that Lu’s parking of the electric car in the open space outside the corridor did not violate the regulations. The electric car was not in working condition at the time, and the deaths of the three victims in this case could be avoided. There will be casualties, and the death of the three victims turned out to be an accident.

The court held that after a fire in the corridor, the victim instinctively escaped, and the result of his unfortunate death was not an accident.

  The court stated that Lu voluntarily surrendered to the case and truthfully confessed the facts of the crime after being notified by the police by telephone. He surrendered and should be given a lighter punishment according to law; he voluntarily pleaded guilty in court and should be considered when sentencing.

At the same time, the accident caused the serious consequences of the death of three people, so probation should not be applied.

Accordingly, the court of first instance sentenced the defendant Lu to the crime of fire in January this year and sentenced him to three years and six months in prison.

Lu refused to accept the judgment of the first instance and filed an appeal. During the trial of the Nanjing Intermediate People's Court, Lu applied for withdrawal of the appeal.

  The Nanjing Intermediate People's Court held that the original trial court’s sentence was appropriate and the trial procedures were legal. Lu’s request to withdraw the appeal voluntarily meets the legal requirements and should be permitted.

Recently, the Nanjing Intermediate People's Court made a final ruling on this case, allowing Lu to withdraw the appeal, and the criminal judgment of the first instance will take effect on the date of service of this ruling.