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Mob sets Waymo car ablaze in San Francisco

A fire starts inside a Waymo car after a vandal threw a lit firework through the window.

Enlarge / A fire starts inside a Waymo car after a vandal threw a lit firework through the window. (credit: Anirudh Koul)

This weekend marked Chinese New Year celebrations—usually a time of revelry and many fireworks. But one Waymo car that tried to navigate down a busy street in San Francisco’s Chinatown was met with an unruly mob that smashed the car’s windows and burned it to the ground over the weekend.

Videos of the incident are all over social media. X user Anirudh Koul got good footage of what started the fire. In one video, a crowd of people surround the car, preventing it from moving. The vehicle is already covered in graffiti and has several smashed windows. One person then throws a lit firework into the cabin; the firework explodes and a fire starts inside the car. The Waymo car then burns to a crisp while it helplessly flashes its hazard lights.

The fire department eventually responded to the raging fire, but almost nothing was left of the vehicle by the time the blaze was put out. Thankfully, the fire didn’t spread. An NBC Bay Area report got a comment from Waymo, which said the car was not transporting any passengers, and no injuries were reported.

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