Fight between driver and passenger causes Chongqing bus to plunge into Yangtze River, killing at least 13 people

CHONGQING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – A fight between a bus driver and an angry passenger caused a bus in south-west China’s Chongqing municipality to plunge into the Yangtze River on Sunday (Oct 28), leaving 13 people dead and two missing.

Based on the black box recording device from the bus and other evidence, a female passenger surnamed Liu, 48, missed her stop and asked the driver surnamed Ran, 43, to stop immediately, Chongqing police said on Friday morning (Nov 2).

After the driver refused to stop, Liu hit the driver’s head with her cellphone. During the fight, Ran lost control of the bus and the vehicle broke through a guardrail and plunged into the river with an estimated 15 passengers on board in Wanzhou, Chongqing.

The bus was lifted out of the water on Wednesday night.

According to the Ministry of Emergency Management, the salvage work was especially difficult because of the small size of the bus, the depth of the water, limited visibility and shifting currents that impeded divers.

The bus came to rest 71m below the river’s surface. All the windows of the bus were broken, and the vehicle rested with its nose down at a 30-degree angle several metres from the face of an underwater cliff.

More than 70 rescue boats came to the scene, including three floating cranes with a total capacity of 125 tonnes.

Zhao Hu, a lawyer, said the family of the victims on the bus have the right to seek compensation from the bus operator and the family of the woman that fought with the driver.

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