Bus fires are not uncommon in China, where regulators have blamed some recent blazes on flawed auto design. In 2013, a bus fire blamed on a suicidal man killed 47 in the coastal city of Xiamen.
Flames engulfed the bus in front of a furniture store in the northern region of Ningxia after 7 am today. The bus was in the region's Helan county.
Police are searching for Ma Yongping, the suspected arsonist, looking in particular for the three cars he owns, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Police are still investigating and state media did not mention any possible motives.