A man in China set himself alight after launching a knife attack in a local government building, killing one person and injuring another, according to mainland broadcaster Heilongjiang TV.

Witnesses saw smoke billowing out of the second floor of the government building in Jixi, Heilongjiang, a news programme broadcast on Thursday said. Firemen were brought in to put out the blaze.

Policemen stand in front of the government building where the attack happened.

The attacker, whose family name was Jin, poured gasoline on himself and lit himself up after wounding two women in the hallway at around 9am on Tuesday. Jin, in his 40s, burnt to death at the scene, the news programme said citing police.

One of the two women died in hospital on Tuesday afternoon. The 38-year-old local community director was stabbed in the heart. The other victim’s condition is not life threatening, the news programme said citing a local hospital.

One of the victims survived the knife attack. Photo: Heilongjiang TV

Police are investigating the attacker’s motive, Heilongjiang TV said.

Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.